The Bear and Star (2860 Grand Ave.), Los Olivos’ newest restaurant, continues its collaborative Guest Chef Series and Chef’s Table Dinners with El Destilado Chef Julio Aguilera and mezcal expert Jason Cox on September 19.
El Destilado is a contemporary Mexican restaurant in historic Oaxaca City, Mexico. The restaurant is celebrated for its elaborate 10-15 course tasting menus and incredible selection of small production mezcal. Each bottle is hand selected from master Mezcaleros around Mexico.
The special evening starts off with a mezcal tasting and discussion from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at The Bear and Star bar, led by Jason Cox. Cox is a co-owner of El Destilado and owner of agave spirit brand Cinco Sentidos. He is an expert in Oaxacan and Poblano mezcals. The tasting and discussion surrounding traditional mezcal provides guests with tastes from a number of bottles direct from authentic palenques (distilleries) in Oaxaca.
Chef Julio Aguilera, formerly of Saison and La Urbana, has been at the helm of El Destilado’s hearth-based kitchen since 2015. This is where he has been “distilling” Mexican ingredients into delicious dishes, both in an elevated form of cuisine that makes up the tasting menu and the casual fare that is part of the restaurant’s à la carte menu.
The Chef’s Table Dinner in the Chef’s Room features a collaborative menu constructed by Chef Julio Aguilera and Chef John Cox of The Bear and Star.
The six-course tasting blends ingredients from the Parker Ranch with flavors inspired by Oaxaca, Mexico. This includes products from the ranch mixed with traditional Oaxacan specialties, such as heirloom chiles and chocolate.
Guests are treated to Fruta de Mar with Santa Barbara shellfish and courses of Hook and Line-Caught Bonito Crudo; Hot River Rock Soup with Smoked Lengua; Rabbit Tamale with Foie Gras; and Parker Ranch Beef Short Ribs with Mole. To complete the dinner is a course of Passion Fruit Granita followed by Oaxacan Chocolate, Chile and Coffee.
The mezcal tasting is open to the public (while seats last) and priced at $25 per guest; the dinner in the Chef’s Room is available to only 16 guests and priced at $85 per person for the dinner, with an optional mezcal/wine pairing offered at $55 per guest. The Chef’s Table seatings are available at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. For reservations, please call 805/688-17788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.