Archive for the 'Downtown' Category

Bestia – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Bestia - Los Angeles (Downtown)

The Astronomer and I traded in Baby for pasta one evening a couple weeks back. With my mom in town helping with June for a few days, we seized the opportunity to enjoy a night out on the town—just the two of us.

We’ve been meaning to return to Bestia for quite some time now, and thanks to Reserve (a “personal dining concierge” app that I highly recommend), we were able to snag a table at the last minute. It’s amazing what a three hour getaway can do for the psyche of new parents!

Bestia - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Upon arriving at the restaurant, The Astronomer and I were led to the hottest seat in the house, literally. Perched in front of the grill and wood-burning oven, we were treated to pizza-tossing, bone marrow-roasting, tomahawk-grilling, and ribeye-searing all night long. It was a splendid performance.

Bestia - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Sommelier Anthony Calian got us started with pours of Bio-Secco Rosé, which he aptly described as “liquid Jolly Ranchers.” My first postpartum drink—mmm, bubbly.

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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.

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Orsa & Winston – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Orsa & Winston - Downtown - Los Angeles

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but Los Angeles’ fine dining scene is appealing to me more than ever before. Maybe Chef Ludo spiked my champagne when I dined at Trois Mec a few weeks back? Really though, what’s not to love about pretty plates, perfectly paced? Just feelin’ fancy…that’s all.

Orsa & Winston - Downtown - Los Angeles

My most recent fine dining explorations took me to Chef Josef Centeno‘s Orsa & Winston, which is “named after two little dogs” according the the restaurant’s website. My date this evening, the lovely D Takes a B, and I settled in for a five-course menu comprised of Crudo, Soup, Grain, Meat, and Sweet for $60.

The 20-course Super Omakase for $195 will have to wait for an occasion when I’m feelin’ fancy and flush.

Orsa & Winston - Downtown - Los Angeles

To start, a refined cheesy broccoli situation consisting of taleggio, broccoli panna cotta, and crispy bits of rye bread. This amuse bouche certainly amused.

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The Factory Kitchen – Los Angeles (Downtown)

The Factory Kitchen - Los Angeles

In college urban economics class, we studied the concept of agglomeration economies: “as more firms in related fields of business cluster together, their costs of production may decline significantly.”

While car dealerships are the classic example of this phenomenon, I’d argue that trattorias specializing in fresh, handmade pasta in Downtown Los Angeles are currently clustering in an economically savvy way. I’m not sure if my professors would agree, but it’s my blog and I’m going with it!

The Factory Kitchen - Los Angeles

The Factory Kitchen, located in the Factory Place Arts Complex in the Arts District, is the latest addition to an Italian noodle hotbed that includes the likes of Bestia, Drago Centro, and Maccheroni Republic.

The restaurant is a collaborative effort between Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, former business partner of Celestino Drago, and Chef Angelo Auriana, formerly of Valentino. The offerings aren’t region-specific, but are traditionally Italian, according to the restaurant’s website.

The Factory Kitchen - Los Angeles

Using Jonathan Gold’s recent review as our guide, we set out to order as much food as a party of four could eat (and afford). This place ain’t cheap.

First up, the barberosse gratinate ($10), a sliced beet casserole swimming in an asiago cheese bath. Sweet, salty, and just rich enough, this dish struck a homey and tasty note.

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