Archive for the 'New American' Category

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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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Two Boroughs Larder – Charleston

Two Boroughs Larder - Charleston, South Carolina

Lien insisted that I dine at Two Boroughs Larder while in Charleston. She visited the city a few months earlier and fell hard for this restaurant slash marketplace. In fact, she was so smitten that she came in twice—a sure sign of a very special place.

Two Boroughs Larder - Charleston, South Carolina

Husband and wife team Josh and Heather Keeler opened Two Boroughs Larder in August 2011 in a part of town known as Cannonborough-Elliotborough. Hence the name, Two Boroughs.

The walk to the restaurant, located a short distance from Charleston’s tourist hot-spots, offered The Astronomer and me a glimpse of life away from the hubbub of carriage rides and gargantuan properties. The neighborhood’s mellow and quiet vibe was welcomed.

Two Boroughs Larder - Charleston, South Carolina

The New American menu spans the globe but remains grounded in Southern ingredients from regional farms and waters.

Even though it was just The Astronomer and me this afternoon, we ordered two “smaller plates,” a charcuterie board meant for four, a side dish, and dessert, too. The menu was just too enticing to resist.

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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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Trois Mec – Los Angeles (Hollywood)

Trois Mec - Hollywood - Los Angeles

To celebrate my recent birthday, I asked The Astronomer to take me to Trois Mec. I’ve wanted to dine here since the restaurant opened last year, but my busy schedule and the restaurant’s tough-to-snag tickets kept me away until now. It was definitely worth the wait.

Trois Mec - Hollywood - Los Angeles

The “three friends” behind Trois Mec are Chef Ludo Lefebvre, who takes care of the food and beverage program, and Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of Animal and Son of a Gun, who manage the front of the house. While service was on point this evening, I quite missed having Krissy run the show a la LudoBites. Ah, memories…

As a nod to their partnership and the restaurant’s name, Trois Mec’s logo features the letters “L”, “D”, and “S” intertwined.

Chef Ludo Lefebvre at Trois Mec

After years of popping up ’round town, making due with others’ dining rooms, kitchens, and equipment, Ludo at last has a permanent space to call home. As a longtime fan of the chef, I was absolutely tickled to see him finally settled and in his element.

The Astronomer and I were seated at the bar overlooking the kitchen, which meant we had front row seats to watch the evening’s cooking and plating action.

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