Eat Me: The Whole Fish at Top Knot

top4by Steven Doyle

A visit to Top Knot reaped plenty of dining rewards. This is a fantastic casual and more playful version of its downstairs sister restaurant, Uchi. The menu is fun, with stunning presentations from chef Angela Hernandez.

Hernandez has a Korean mother and Mexican father, so it was not uncommon for frijoles and kimchi to share space at her childhood dinner table, thus laying the groundwork for a love of the blend of cultural influences in food.    

top5Tuna Crudo

Hernandez enrolled in the Texas Culinary Academy in 2001 and moved to New York City upon graduation. While there, she worked at celebrated eateries Allen & Delancey and Corton under Chef Paul Liebrandt before moving to Los Angeles, where she went on to become Executive Chef of acclaimed Flores after her time at Bazaar by Jose Andres. As a longtime fan of Uchi and desiring to return to Texas, Hernandez joined the Uchiko team in 2014. 

Hernandez enrolled in the Texas Culinary Academy in 2001 and moved to New York City upon graduation. While there, she worked at celebrated eateries Allen & Delancey and Corton under Chef Paul Liebrandt before moving to Los Angeles, where she went on to become Executive Chef of acclaimed Flores after her time at Bazaar by Jose Andres. As a longtime fan of Uchi and desiring to return to Texas, Hernandez joined the Uchiko team in 2014.

top3Bao goodness

top2Chicken Kimchi Kaarage

Our most recent visit to Top Knot paid off with outstanding sharable dishes such as a slightly piquant Chicken Kimchi Kaarage bespeckled with crunchy Asian pear, jalapeno and mint it gave a slight nod to a crazy good General Tso.

We also shared Berkshire pork ribs that were tender with a slight hug to the bone. There was a distinctive crust across the ribs that was slightly sweet yet spicy. We could have inhaled a bucket of these ribs without a moment of embarrassment

Another table favorite was the Hamachi crudo. We wanted to bathe in the sauce that was dotted with bits of crunchy goodness. Eat bite begged for more.

top1Macaron ice cream sandwich

Then the star of the show arrived in the whole fish. The branzini was split with an open bowl shape that displayed a green papaya salad. We loved the crispiness of the skin and the fresh, tender meat that was abundant and willingly swam into our bellies.

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Filed under Crave, Steven Doyle

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