King Trumpet Mushrooms and Wild Rice at the Bench in Pebble Beach, CA

Pebble Beach is an incredibly special place. I have been fortunate to visit a few times and I always revel in the gorgeous views. The Lodge at Pebble Beach has several dining options, including Stillwater, the Bench, and a pub. See my much longer post about two other lunches at the Bench here when I enjoyed 2 versions of their Falafel Burger and Beet Salad.

On a third visit, the Bench had added a plant-based entree featuring King Trumpet Mushrooms,  with Wild Rice, Red Onions and Purslane and Lemon Vinaigrette. I wasn’t sure I had ever had king trumpet mushrooms, I love wild rice, and I also love purslane and almost never see it offered anywhere, so I had to order that. I asked for the vinaigrette on the side, not wanting to have any extra oil. When the entree arrived, another server quickly dropped off my food, which was served on a wood plank, and  I was definitely disappointed. There was a lot of very oily rice, with what looked like one mushroom top and a couple of large stems, with a two onion pieces and sprinkling of —parsley!! No purslane to be seen. I tracked down another waiter and asked about the missing purslane and he said that my dish did not look like the usual presentation and went off to enquire.

Apparently, the kitchen had run out of purslane and decided that a parsley garnish would do instead.  I had not expected the rice tone so oily since I had asked for the vinaigrette on the side. The mushroom was actually delicious, but there wasn’t much there, considering the name and the price of this dish. This was not Mushrooms–plural– with wild rice, as the menu promised–but Wild Rice–as the main item– with mushroom–singular.

The lemon vinaigrette was really mustardy and delicious and added a lot of flavor to the mushroom.

This could have been a really good dish if the rice had not been oily and if the mushrooms had been more prominent, and if there had been more onions, and if there had been purslane.  If I ever find king trumpet mushrooms, I’ll try making it my way.

I had a great time anyway, and the view was amazing!

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