From Boat to Bougie: How the Four Seasons Turns Daily Catch into Fine Cuisine
First published in Food + Home Magazine as Seasonal Seafood is the Star at Coin & Candor, Winter ’22/’23
A trained palate can guess Chef Jesus Medina’s background in one bite, but if it doesn’t land, close your eyes and let it hit – paprika says Mexico, yet chili oil speaks to modern Southern California cuisine.
The sea salt, you later learn, is harvested from Zuma Beach and then herbally infused to soften the briny edges, a trick perhaps learned from kitchens in the Mediterranean, Brazil, or Spain.
It’s that detail you can expect with Medina and the team at Coin & Candor, a restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village that is vibrant in both view and vibe. The waterfall along the garden’s back wall creates a soothing atmosphere where the focus is your company and the food at hand.
For example, the seasonal crudo, a delicacy bursting with a smokey sweetness, both light and complex, encourages slurps and general disregard for what others may consider good table manners. (It’s that good.)
Although the Baja California Red Snapper is a signature dish for la brasserie, the rotating seasonal menu is something to behold, particularly for the local seafood.
“The Central Coast is a very difficult zone, as it depends a lot on seasonality and availability of wild products,” Medina said. “But when these items are available, the fish and seafood we get from (Central and Southern California) are spiny lobster, white bass, spot prawns, Dungeness crab, which we currently use in our crab cassoulet dish, Kumiai oyster, (Grassy Bar) oysters, and uni.”
This season, hominy, corn, cannellini beans, cilantro, and shrimp oil are accompanying the Dungeness Crab Cassoulet Dish this season.
Still, if the chef had to choose one dish, it would be the Kanpachi, a sushi-grade whitefish kissed with Granny Smith apples and fresh cilantro. “The dish’s simplicity reminds me of home in Mexico,” Medina said.
The finisher was a melt-in-your-mouth apple pastry by Chef Jennifer Park, Head Pastry Chef Patrick Fahy’s right hand in the guild. Park’s handcrafted ice cream, air-fried apple slices thin enough to read a newspaper through, and gold-leaf accents elevate one of America’s favorite flavors.
Even with other dessert accompaniments, such as nitro-hardened honey foam on deconstructed cheesecake with a balsamic red wine reduction and a nitro chocolate “smoke” show, I was this close to smuggling the remaining slices of her sourdough into my bag.
What makes Coin & Candor stand out are the unique experiences they offer regular and new customers alike through premier guest satisfaction, vision, seasonal innovations, and lots of heart.
Coin & Candor
Four Seasons Westlake Village, California
What’s the bougiest seafood meal you’ve ever had? Please share in the comments below!
If you liked this, you’d love Commercial Fishing to Fine Cuisine: Wild Fish in Pacific Grove, California.