Eating Out Paleo – All Spice in San Mateo, CA
I’ve always loved Indian spices and Indian cuisine (even if it is British Indian food like Chicken Tikka Masala), so when I heard about All Spice, I had to go try it!
It’s a Californian restaurant with an Indian flair, and it has a Michelin star!
Everything on their menu looks pretty damn fantastic (although unfortunately we couldn’t eat many of them)! The potato croquettes in the chicken confit kebabs are breaded unfortunately
But we started with some non-alcoholic drinks: a passion fruit-mint lassi and a sweet chai iced tea. A bit sweet, but seriously very delicious and full of flavor.
Next, we started with a shrimp foam amuse bouche, which the server assured me was gluten-free after I had quizzed him to death about the entire menu! I don’t think this is the amuse bouche they typically server, so you might have to specify that you’re gluten-free when you dine.
For appetizers, the baby octopus a la plancha (you can easily omit the croutons and the lima beans) and the lavender and cumin scallops were the most Paleo-friendly options. If you’re ok with a bit of cheese, then the ode to my wife, part iii and the heirloom tomato salad are pretty Paleo too.
I went for the Baby Octopus A La Plancha, with squid ink vinaigrette, lamb merguez, sourdough croutons (I asked them to omit these), tomato, basil, peppercress, and slow-cooked lima beans (I left those on the plate).
This was seriously delicious – everything was cooked perfectly. The octopus was tender and flavorful, and the squid ink didn’t have that metallic ink taste that I was fearful of.
Jeremy went for the Ode to My Wife, Part iii (not sure if he was just drawn by the pickled beets or if the name of the dish just captured his imagination!). This is described on the menu as “a landscape of madras-curried carrots, pickled beets, spiced walnuts, fresh and aged goat cheese beside a pool of gold beet borscht.”
I think Jeremy was disappointed with his choice of appetizers after trying mine (you gotta like beets and goat cheese a lot for this dish!), but his drink option was more delicious than mine, so I thought we were about even.
Despite a ton of amazing Paleo entrée options (wagyu beef flat iron steak, venison steak, wild boar, pan-seared seabass, lemongrass-miso black cod), we both gravitated toward the same dish: Veal Cheeks Vindaloo with a warm farro salad, vanilla potato cream, lemon brussels sprouts, and king oyster mushrooms.
Although this definitely is NOT a spicy dish (I ask for mild curries everywhere I go), there is a bit of a kick that builds up over time. If you love mildly spiced Indian dishes, then this is definitely something you’ll love.
The veal cheeks were amazingly tender and so flavorful. And the vanilla potato cream…out of this world good! I am so adding vanilla to my potatoes in the future!
We skipped desserts – unfortunately the only gluten-free dessert option had cream in it, and we were pretty full already (the veal cheeks are very filling).