Faith & Flower – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

Unless you’ve given up social media for Lent, chances are that you’ve heard a little somethin’ somethin’ about Downtown’s newly opened Faith & Flower.

There’s a great chef in the kitchen (Michael Hung of San Francisco’s La Folie) and a talented bar man too (Michael Lay of Vegas’s Rose. Rabbit. Lie), but what really drew me here was my friend Stephane Bombet, one of the restaurant’s managing partners. This is his first project since parting with Chef Ricardo Zarate‘s Peruvian empire (Mo-Chica, Picca, Paiche, and Blue Tavern).

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

Whereas most of Downtown’s popular spots are minimally appointed and distinctly urban, Faith & Flower feels downright sumptuous, complete with crystal chandeliers, fancy cutlery and chargers, and plush banquettes. To keep the done-up room from feeling formal or stuffy, the energy, music, and service all hit the perfect upbeat yet casual note.

Faith & Flower - Los Angeles (Downtown)

To start, we tried two of Michael Lay’s creations. I chose the intense and smoky “Olvera” ($14) made with Nuestra Soledad mezcal, Cherry Heering, Zirbenz Stone Pine, Royal Combier, housemade orange bitters, and lapsang souchong vapor, while The Astronomer selected the “Angels Flight” ($12) with Denizen rum, yuzu, palm sugar, and kaffir lime leaf.

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

Next on the scene was a trio of small bites. My favorite of the three was the Duck Liver Mousse Tarts ($6) with grenadine candied onions—satisfyingly rich and savory bites with a touch of sweetness.

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

Hitting an altogether different note was the Dungeness crab toast ($15), a thick bread raft topped with avocado, jicama, pickled sea beans, Green Goddess aioli, and sweet crab meat.

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

The New York Steak Tartare ($14) was superb. Tender cubes of beef were dressed with roasted sesame oil and a relish of soy- and sake-braised konbu seaweed, then finished with uni cream and black sesame seeds.  The puffed rice crackers were a great vehicle for the tartare.

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

The Astronomer and I were most excited about the pasta dishes on the menu, especially since Sous Chef Michelle Minori is an alum of San Francisco’s Flour + Water. We absolutely adored the Oxtail Agnolotti ($17), toothsome parcels sauced with a luscious bone marrow butter and garnished with a tangerine salsa and deep-fried beef tendon. Best of all was the citrus, a totally unexpected but fantastic addition to the dish.

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

The Thick Cut Wheat Noodles ($16) was terrific as well, hitting a Chinese note with its cumin-braised lamb, cilantro, and chili-garlic broth. The Astronomer loved this one best. 

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

For the protein portion of our feast, a selection from the land and sea:

The seared Delta sturgeon ($24) with roasted Brussels sprouts, sunchokes, and pickled mustard seeds was perfectly cooked, leaving the fillet tender and flaky.

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

The roasted Mushroom Stuffed Quail ($25) with a Madeira and mushroom sauce was extraordinarily earthy. The combination of stuffing and herbs struck a Thanksgiving-like note that I really dug.

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

Before desserts, we indulged in an absinthe “course” featuring La Fée Absinthe in a pyro preparation known as “Leap of Faith.”  After we inhaled its vapors, the flaming absinthe was served over root beer.  It was a tasty drink, but unfortunately we didn’t see any green fairies.

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

Executive Pastry Chef Ben Spungin, formerly of the Bernardus Lodge and French Laundry, treated us to a duo of creative and delicious desserts. The Goat Yogurt Panna Cotta ($8) with yuzu granite, honey, Buddha’s hands, and puffed wild rice was seriously refreshing. The puffed rice took us by surprise with its toasted and smoky profile.

Faith & Flower - Downtown, Los Angeles

Equally fantastic was the Milk Chocolate Cremeux ($8) with peanut butter crumbles, Big Sur sea salt, and caramel ice cream. Smooth, rich, creamy greatness.

Congratulations are in order to Stephane, as well as the entire team! Faith & Flower is a very fine addition to Downtown’s burgeoning dining scene. Welcome to the ‘hood!

Faith & Flower
705 W. 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Phone: 213-239-0642

Downtown. My town:

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