Oct 2011

Dinner at Farmshop – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

While The Astronomer and I were eating our way through Vietnam, one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles quietly launched dinner service. After nearly a year of dishing up only breakfast, lunch, and brunch, Farmshop finally began serving supper late last month.

As soon as we landed on dear, sweet American soil, The Astronomer and I made reservations to dine at Farmshop. Even though we were both feeling the effects of jet-lag, we couldn’t let a little fatigue stop us from coming in for a long-awaited taste.

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

The restaurant was busy enough for a Wednesday night when we arrived just after eight. I loved the look and feel of the dining room during brunch service and was pleased that the space transitioned nicely into nighttime. We were joined for dinner by our friend Kat on her final night as a restaurant PR rep.

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

Dinner at Farmshop is currently offered five nights a week, Wednesday through Sunday. The menu changes daily except for Sundays, which are dedicated to Chef Jeff Cerciello’s famous fried chicken [See: Fried Chicken Night at Ad Hoc].

Dinner each night is a three course affair served family style with prices ranging from $40 to $60. Our menu was priced at $46 per person.

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

Our meal began with an array of vegetables. A bowl of hummus came drizzled with olive oil and topped with fried chickpeas. Lavash bread was served on the side for slathering. The crunch of the garbanzos really made this dish for me. In fact, I was so enamored with them that I oven roasted two cans a few days later to relive the magic.

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

Served alongside the hummus were wilted leeks with whole grain mustard, raisins, and arugula. The leeks were sweet and sour, as promised, and even a little tangy thanks to the house-made mustard.

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

The final vegetable dish was simply roasted Windrose Farm carrots with parsley and charmoula. The orange and purple carrots were as sweet as can be and just snappy enough.

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

Moving on to the main course, we were served a tremendous platter of prime beef brisket garnished with chopped chives and re-hydrated dried apricots. Underneath the mountain of meat was a wild mushroom conserva imbued with sage.

While The Astronomer was perfectly content eating his meat straight up, I couldn’t resist pairing each bite with some beet juice-infused horseradish. The condiment’s slight heat jazzed up the brisket just the way I like it.

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

The main dish set an autumnal tone that carried over to the side dishes. The smashed beets weren’t much to look at, but their flavors and textures were appealingly rustic. Who knew beet stems and peels could taste so delicious? The beets were served on a bed of braised wild greens that reminded Kat and I of fried morning glory.

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

Also served on the side was a bowl of Shaner Farms butternut squash purée. The squash, which had a good bit of heft to it, was strategically sprinkled with coarse grains of salt.

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

To finish, we were brought bite-sized honey cakes garnished with Flying Disc Ranch dates and an oat streusel.

Dinner at Farmshop - Santa Monica

A small dish of poached apples with pickled dried cranberries was served on the side to brighten up the run-of-the-mill muffins.

My introductory dinner at Farmshop was a solid one. Every dish was executed and seasoned with skill, while the ingredients were pristine. I think that the difference between a good dinner and a phenomenal one comes down to what’s on the menu and one’s personal preferences.

While I like hummus, carrots, brisket, and muffins well enough, they don’t elicit the same kind of Pavlovian response as say, pate, corn, meatloaf, and doughnuts. To guarantee an all-out love fest next time around, I’m calling ahead to hear the menu. I don’t like to leave anything up to chance, especially dinner.

225 26th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90402
Phone: 310-566-2400

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5 thoughts on “Dinner at Farmshop – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)

  1. Annette – Roasting them in the oven works just as well without the splatter!

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper, if using. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid burning.

  2. They had a quinoa heirloom tomato salad and salmon dish on the menu Friday night. I was thisclose to sprinting to Brentwood, but opted for a Bar Method class and Beer Belly instead. Next time that quinoa will be mine!

  3. Awww, drool. Gorge fotos as always. I am so glad that as luck would have it, you & Vern were my final media dinner. Thanks so much for coming in fresh from your VN flight, jet-lag and all. You guys are troopers. Can’t wait to see you guys soon …

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