I first heard about Moto and Chef Homaro Cantu at the Museum of Science and Industry, where there was an exhibit called something like, “The Future is Now.” The exhibit included video of Cantu making sushi with an inkjet printer and pulling other crazy sciencey stunts that I’m just not smart enough to recall. I’ll admit, nitroglycerin infused fig bubble* doesn’t exactly make my tummy rumble, but I was totally fascinated.
I recently had a chance to check out Cantu’s edible experiments first hand when we went to Moto for my birthday. Somewhere in-between the fourth and ninth courses, Guy said, “Ya know, this feels more like a magic show than a dinner.” I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Imagine how you’d approach food if you developed sudden semi-amnesia. The first course (after the edible menu), for example, looks exactly like a mini-breakfast, complete with scrambled eggs, an English muffin and hash browns. So you think, hey wait a minute! I remember breakfast. You don’t. The eggs are some kind of orange meringue thing, the muffin is garlic foam with a swab of cornmeal on top to resemble butter and the potatoes are, I think, scallops.
A sugar cube might be dehydrated truffle. Paper might be garlic bread. Cigar ash might be sesame. Don’t trust your eyes. Is it postmodern? Metacuisine? Not really sure, but it’s a total adventure. Oh, and it tastes good.
Since Moto, Guy and I play a fun game where I pick an object – any object (a calculator, a necklace, a cat) and present it to him , announcing the name of a popular food or dish. For example, I might pick up a piece of dirty glass from the sidewalk, turn to him, and say, with gusto, “Brownie!” It’s a hoot.
*Nitroglycerin infused fig bubble is not an actual dish. You shouldn’t try to make it. Figs are gross.
Not only do we both love going on adventures to new restaurants, but we’ve been talking about Moto for almost as long as we’ve been talking to each other. So it seemed like the perfect gift.
And I think it was. Actually, I know it was.
Moto is part of the food movement called molecular gastronomy, which according to wikipedia “is a scientific discipline that studies the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking.” But that makes it seem like a scientific meal. As Gal said, I think it’s more correct to say that it was like a magic show.
A Unique Experience In Every Way
I’d recommend this restaurant a hundred times over. The staff was extremely attentive and helpful, without hovering or being overly involved. They knew so much about the food, as though they prepared it.
I’m sure if you’ve read this far, you’ve gotten an idea that it’s a pricy meal. If this was Yelp, we’d have $$$$ next to the name. But I’d say it is definitely something worth doing on the most special of occasions, like celebrating the birthday of the woman you love. Just be prepared to fork over some loot… and then perhaps eat the fork.
Overall, it was the best dining experience I’ve ever had, thanks in no small part to my dining companion.