Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Michel Cordon Bleu's Smoked Fish

Fish for the Finicky

Michel Cordon Bleu Smoked Trout% with Herbs
Michel Cordon Bleu Smoked Trout with Herbs

The best smoked fish you'll ever taste may be made right here in Los Angeles, and you don't even know about it. That's because culinary highlights are often far flung in this spread out city. For Vietnamese food, you have to drag down to Westminster. For Chinese, it's out to the San Gabriel Valley. If you've got a hankering for top-flight pastrami, you need to visit Langer's by MacArthur Park. There is no Little Italy to peruse, and while we love Olvera Street, it's not exactly the place to be wowed by Mexican food.


On the other hand, although it's not always located in one convenient neighborhood, great food is abundant here. Excellent, exciting restaurants and talented chefs are surprising us everywhere. Farmers markets are ubiquitous, gourmet shops and ethnic grocers are proliferating.

Now, add to your must-have list Michel Blanchet's smoked salmon, trout or sturgeon. There's a good chance you may have eaten it somewhere, since Blanchet supplies an enviable list of restaurant clients. The salmon has a luxurious texture—unctuous and tender. It greets your palate first with a pleasing rush of hickory smokiness, followed by undisguised flavor and startling freshness. Then come the finely balanced undertones of sweet and salty. Likewise, the trout (Blanchet also offers one finished with herbs) and sturgeon shine through, proving that his smoking technique is the perfect complement. It is obvious that great care has been taken to select the freshest and best Idaho trout, Atlantic salmon and sturgeon from the Sacramento River.

Blanchet's smoked fish is flawless. Maybe that should be no surprise considering his esteemed reputation, his association with Jean Bertranou and all of those years at the acclaimed L'Escoffier and L'Ermitage restaurants. Blanchet first started smoking fish in-house in 1975 at L'Ermitage simply because there was none good enough elsewhere. The loss of Bertranou and L'Ermitage left a hole in Los Angeles, but Blanchet moved on and founded Michel Cordon Bleu, Inc. And lucky for us, Blanchet sells these divine products directly to the public through Wally's and Larchmont Village Wine & Spirits.

Use Michel Cordon Bleu's smoked fish in hors d'oeuvres or appetizers, scramble it in your eggs or pile it on a bagel. Eat it on sushi, in a terrine, on buttered toast or just with a kiss of horseradish crème fraîche. As you indulge you may wonder how much longer can it remain a best-kept secret.


Michel Cordon Bleu's smoked fish is available at:

Wally's Wine & Spirits
2107 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
310-475-0606
www.wallywine.com

Surfas Culinary District
8777 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
310-559-4770
www.culinarydistrict.com

Larchmont Village Wines & Spirits
223 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
323-856-8699
www.larchmontvillagewine.com

McCall's Meat & Fish Company
2117 Hillhurst Ave. (Los Feliz)
Los Angeles, CA 90027
323-667-0674
www.mccallsmeatandfish.com

(Updated: 09/21/12 DL)


There's a lot of fish in the sea, but not all should end up on your plate! Learn which kinds of seafood were caught using sustainable practices.

A staple in Indian cuisine, this flavorful spice aids in digestion and detoxifies the body. Discover all of the health benefits of cardamom.