Posts Tagged ‘tartare’

Get ready for Barberia restaurant

Expanding from the Barbershop Ristorante pop-up into a permanent space in downtown Los Angeles named Barberia restaurant, Chef Walter el Nagar (Il Grano, La Botte) has been hosting a run of tasting menu evenings to preview what is in store for the new restaurant. As the location on Hope Street downtown nears completion, these tastings are being hosted in Brakeman Brewery, a gallery space off of Jefferson Boulevard along the Metro Expo Line.

Barberia preview at Brakeman Brewery

Barberia preview at Brakeman Brewery

With a wonderful sound system, cozy bar and golden sunsets to die for, we recently dined on the outdoor patio area at dusk.

After being greeted by a bar inside, a carefully prepared meal was our treat outside. First up to say hello was duck tartare with shaved foie gras and anchovy on sailor bread. The laws in California don’t prevent consumption of foie gras, but the ban on the sale of foie did make this dish a pleasant surprise for many at the table. The theme of pairing these items together is appreciated, but let’s be real: you’re excited about the foie.

Duck tartare with foie gras

Duck tartare with foie gras

In a nod to the sea and barbershop, up next was an uni sponge cake in tomato broth presented in a sea urchin bowl atop a stone with a barbershop pole etching. The taste was subtle, as most of the dishes in the evening would be, and was a refreshing follow-up to the tartare on a warm evening.

Uni sponge cake

Uni sponge cake

The prawns aguachile was quite interesting. It was like a prawn enchilada in green sauce but wrapped in avocado slices instead of tortillas. I would probably prefer this as a snack rather than a dinner course, but I definitely enjoyed it. As always, avocados remind you that you’re in California.

Prawns aguachile

Prawns aguachile

The linguine alle vongole was my favorite dish of the evening. Using wheat germ pasta cooked in clam juice and fresh clams, there’s a kick at the end of each bite thanks to the chili in the spicy sauce that the pasta sat on rather than being coated in it. I could have had three more helpings of this dish, gladly.

Linguine alle vongole

Linguine alle vongole

The abalone and porcini mushroom risotto was a real hit, and for many their favorite dish of the tasting menu. Everything combined perfectly, and each bite had a great taste to it. Seaweed was also used for flavoring in this dish, and it was spot on.

Abalone and porcini mushroom risotto

Abalone and porcini mushroom risotto

Dessert came with a message: “Tomato is a fruit.” That’s literally what the dish was called. A sweet tomato in a bowl with strawberry syrup, topped with white chocolate ice cream and vanilla foam, the message was loud, clear and delightful. This wasn’t a decadent dessert, full of sin and scandal; it was more like a peaceful agreement between good looking people who never really wanted to fight each other. This will be a popular dessert for the summertime.

Tomato dessert

Tomato dessert

Overall, this peek at what’s to come for Barberia restaurant definitely shows promise. You can experience this preview (last pop-up takes place Oct. 17) and decide for yourself by making online reservations on the Barbershop website. No word on when Barberia restaurant will open, but there will be quite a few people in the food world interested to see how this joint venture with Adam Fleischman, of Umami and AdVantage fame, will turn out.

Note: This meal was hosted.


09 2014

Churchill, Hudson celebrate anniversaries this week

Westside Negroni at The Churchill.

Westside Negroni at The Churchill. Photo by Annabelle Abouab.

On Thursday, Oct. 17, stop by The Churchill on West Third Street for a combined celebration in honor of the restaurant’s 2nd anniversary as well as The Hudson’s 4th anniversary. Starting at 10 p.m., you’ll be treated to passed appetizers from Churchill Executive Chef Michael Bryant, half-off fall cocktails from mixologist Karen Grill and sounds from KCRW’s Garth Trinidad. With Bryant and Grill behind the eats, this is sure to be a tasty affair.

Set to be on the passed-app menu:

*Ahi tuna with cucumber and harissa aioli
*Mini tacos with fresh snapper ceviche, pico de gallo and guacamole
*Beef tartare
*Roasted market veggie kabobs
*Parmesan gougères
*Angus beef sliders

Grill’s new fall cocktails will be half-off at $6 and include:

*24th 1/2 Century: scotch, Punt e Mes, cacao, fresh lemon juice
*Mezcalifornia Dreamin': mezcal, Cointreau, sage liquer, fresh lime juice
*Westside Negroni: London Dry gin, east india sherry, Aperol, lemon zest
*Caipeira: cachaca, pear brandy, lime segments, Peychauds bitters
*High Tea: tequila, earl grey tea, rhubarb liquer, orange bitters, fresh lemon juice, soda
*Tiki-Tiki Tembo: aged rum, Cynar, pineapple juice, orgeat, lime, grated nutmeg
*Churchill Manhattan: rye whiskey, vermouth, Angostura bitters
*Lily of the Valley: gin, aloe liquer, agave rose soda, fresh lime juice

Bryant recently took over for chef Bruce Kalman, who left to start his own pickle company, and Grill has taken over for Mia Sarazen. I recently tried both Bryant’s food and Grill’s drinks (the 24th 1/2 Century was my favorite, followed closely by the Westside Negroni, which is less bitter than traditional negronis) and can attest to their quality. Should be a good time!

The Churchill
8384 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
10 p.m. to close


10 2013

French in Manhattan Beach: Cafe Pierre

I don’t make it down to the South Bay very often, so whenever I’m invited to a dinner in the area, I try to get over the “it’s so far” feeling that inevitably creeps up and go. This time the dinner was at Cafe Pierre in Manhattan Beach, a contemporary French eatery on Manhattan Beach Boulevard. This was a meal full of firsts for me, and I discovered I liked things I never thought I would like.

We were served a bunch of potted meats to start. This is when I tried head cheese, trotters, rillete and beef tartare for the first time, and none were as scary as I thought they would be. I actually surprised myself by really liking the hand-cut beef tartare, which came with judion beans on the side. I also had escargot and bone marrow as starters, too, both for the first time as well. While neither were as that scary, I didn’t enjoy them as much as the beef tartare, which had a fresh taste to it, contrary to what I had imagined raw beef tasting like.

I think this is head cheese, but it could have been trotters or rillete

Beef tartare

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