Archive for the 'Small Plates' Category

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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Jonathan Gold’s Scouting Report #1: AltaEats

Altaeats - Altadena

Chef Paul Ragan’s cookin’ up a little somethin’ somethin’ in the foothills of Altadena and it’s got a whole lotta soul. Filing my first Scouting Report, “At AltaEats, seafood paella and a duck egg for your duck hash,” on the Los Angeles Times‘ Daily Dish. Bon appetit.

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Sitka & Spruce – Seattle

Sitka & Spruce - Capitol Hill - Seattle

When Sunday rolled around, it was time to pack up our bags and bid farewell to Seattle.

Since The Astronomer and I had enjoyed such a stellar meal at The Corson Building on Friday night, we decided to brunch at another of Chef Matt Dillon’s restaurants before leaving town: Sitka & Spruce. I loved that our #2DaysinSeattle stay was bookended by thoughtful, Pacific Northwest-inflected meals, with a winning mix of booze and biscuits in between.

Sitka & Spruce - Capitol Hill - Seattle

Chef Dillon opened the original Sitka & Spruce in a nondescript Eastlake storefront in 2006. The restaurant relocated to spiffier digs inside Capitol Hill’s Melrose Market in 2010. While I can’t speak to the ambiance of the first spot, the current one is absolutely gorgeous, with tons of natural light streaming in.

Sitka & Spruce - Capitol Hill - Seattle

Brunch, which is served on Saturdays (10 AM to 2 PM) and Sundays (10 AM to 3 PM), is a beautiful affair. The menu features a selection of small and large plates that encourage family-style sharing, and the offerings go far beyond basics like French toast and eggs Benedict. It’s the kind of interesting and delicious fare that I would gladly sacrifice sleeping in to experience.

I wanted to order the entire menu, of course, but our party of four could only handle so much, especially after last night’s never-ending feast at Staple & Fancy.

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