Even though Chef Josef Centeno is no longer behind the stoves at Little Tokyo’s Lazy Ox Canteen, his culinary legacy endures through his signature rice pudding, which has remained a menu mainstay long after his departure.
The rice pudding begins with tender grains of Arborio rice scented with Mexican cinnamon and vanilla. Heavy cream, half-and-half, and sweetened condensed milk combine to create a thoroughly rich and creamy consistency. What takes this rice pudding straight to heaven is the freshly whipped cream that’s incorporated into the pudding at the last possible moment. It creates a light, almost airy profile that rice puddings rarely boast.
A sprinkling of nutty brittle brings on the crunch, while whipped cream and sticky caramel are heaped and drizzled over respectively. While the rice pudding today is more compact in presentation than the one that Chef Centeno made famous years ago, the flavors and texture are exactly as they should be—absolutely swoon-able.
Lazy Ox Canteen
241 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
One year ago: Hủ Tiếu Mì – Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup
Two years ago: Bò Bía – Vietnamese Jicama, Carrot, Chinese Sausage, Egg, and Dried Shrimp Rolls
Three years ago: Basking in Basque Country
Four years ago: The Fortune Cookie Chronicles – Jennifer 8. Lee
Five years ago: Chả Cá Hà Nội – Ho Chi Minh City
Six years ago: Cà Ri Gà – Vietnamese Chicken Curry