Reviews

The LAB is an amazingly intimate and insightful dining experience. The LAB provides diners with an insider’s look at the process behind the art and science of creating their personalized menu. Of course, the main attraction is the food itself, which is always top notch.

-D. Fernando

The LAB: Dining Sessions is truly a unique culinary experience on a very intimate level. Chef Mike Arquines and his team put together a memorable event for our community organization’s cause that had guests and patrons asking for more.  There were guests that asked for when the next event would be held.  As a foodie, The LAB and Chef Arquines perform and create exceptionally to our standards.

-M. Ocampo

To dine with The Lab is to experience the best elements of the culinary arts working in harmony. From the quality ingredients, to the proven, creative, and cutting edge methods of preparation. Chef Arquines and his staff do a masterful job designing a menu to suit the taste and the occasion. Culminating in a dining experience that will not only please your taste buds and fill your stomachs, but compliment the moment and quite possibly – add to the memories as well.

-F. Balagtas Jr.

This past July, I decided to give my wife an unforgettable dining experience for her 30th birthday. We were encouraged by a close friend to attend the LAB dining session. We had a blast and loved the classy, modern, yet cozy and personal feeling we had during the tasting.  I knew that this could be the group of talented chefs I could count on.

Mike Arquines worked with me to make sure I was getting what I wanted and within my budget and provided great ideas to bring the whole event together from both the taste and the dining experience. The chef did not cut any corners.  The table deco was simple but classy and, although the LAB staff was hard at work in the kitchen, we were greeted warmly by Chef Arquines with complimentary champagne and delicately deep-fried oysters.  As we were served starters and appetizers, the chef would come by and educate us and our friends on what we were filling our bellies with which only added to the experience.

Ren loves uni and foie gras.  For the main course, the LAB was at their best.  The uni was served three ways.  Two of which we never had and the other the way we love it: California Gold raw. As for the foie, Ren and I both agreed this was the best we’ve ever had.  They showed great restraint and let the quality of the ingredient speak for itself.

To end the evening, Chef Arquines and his team took oreos and milk (Ren’s weakness) to the extreme and used a bit of modernist cuisine techniques to make a custom cookie crust with cheesecake cream in the middle for the oreos served with a side of “borchata,” horchata with flavor filled boba.

The team was professional throughout the whole process, took the time to plan every minute detail out, and listened to me as the client.  I honestly felt that they treated this private event with as much care and love as their do with their regular events with multiple people in the kitchen, working like crazy to please us and our friends.  And it was the chef who reminded me a couple times that the main objective was to please Ren.  Needless to say that objective was not only met, but surpassed.

-Ren & Rob

I was intrigued by a facebook post that featured one of the LAB dining sessions in which my friend attended. I met with Chef Arquines not having a specific event in mind, but more to learn about what he offers during his dining sessions and special events. I was impressed by his professionalism and knowledge – not to mention that he is probably the most non-pretentious foodie that I’ve ever met. I soon found a reason to have a dining session (my husband’s birthday) and immediately began a working relationship with Chef Arquines.

My guests “oohed” and “ahhed” at the food’s presentation and they were even more impressed with the unique and creative flavors. Our session was enhanced by the Chef explaining the ingredients and the craft brewer educating us on our beer pairing. None of our guests have ever experienced a beer pairing before and they thoroughly enjoyed it. To add a special touch, my husband was given a special dessert of gooey butter cake as an homage to his Missouri roots.

Chef Arquines and his team were very professional throughout the evening and worked seamlessly. They accommodated an unexpected guest as well as a guest that had an allergy to mollusks. She really appreciated the special effort  (at her last tasting/pairing at a local restaurant, she couldn’t eat half of the food that was offered to her). Thank you Chef Arquines and your team for creating an unforgettable evening!

-M. Hiatt

“Being a journalist means not having much time to sit down and eat, but the moment I took a seat at The Lab, my taste buds were electrified with the true meaning of gourmet. It was more than a treat, it was a pleasure. You won’t understand the meaning of  “dining experience” until you’ve dined in at the Lab.”

-Chris Soriano