Heirloom fruits sourced from family-owned farms located no more than 350 miles from Los Angeles are transformed into beautiful jams, chutneys, fruit butters, and marmalades at Jessica Koslow’s Sqirl. Here, preserves are made the old fashion way, cooked slow and low in copper pots using as little sugar as possible and natural pectin. This “less is more” approach means that every jar practically bursts with nature’s wholesome goodness.
The magic of spring and summer is captured in flavors like wild blueberry with tarragon and Santa Rosa plums with flowering thyme, while winter’s blood oranges and kumquats are delicately tamed in marmalade form, sometimes with the addition of vanilla bean.
Ms. Koslow recently teamed up with Ria Wilson, formerly of Canelé, and Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski of G&B Coffee to open her production space to the public for breakfast and lunch. The Astronomer and I swung by on Saturday afternoon to catch up with my favorite jam maker and to sample a few of her new menu offerings.
The well-edited menu celebrates toast in sweet and savory forms and features daily specials that change with the chef’s bounty and whims. Runny eggs and preserved goodies of all stripes punctuate each plate.
A chilled jar of legitimately sour rhubarb pink lemonade ($3.25) was on hand for sipping.
And for nibbling, The Astronomer and I settled on two of the daily specials. The first, which came highly recommended by the high priestess of preserves, consisted of toasted and buttered brioche from Proof Bakery swept up in a Santa Rosa plum chutney with shards of Fat Bottom Girl sheep’s cheese and coarse salt to finish ($5.75). Everything about this sweet, salty, and savory creation was amazing. This was toast elevated, and then some.
Our second dish, the geoduck crudo with fennel, dandelion, sorrel pesto and lime ($7), satisfied us in a totally different way. The bitter greens and snappy fennel paired marvelously with the thin shavings of geoduck. The understated seasonings and accents allowed the pristine ingredients to shine through.
I love what’s going on at Sqirl and am looking forward to seeing how the menu evolves with the seasons. Mostly I’m excited about the house-made charcuterie that should be introduced in the coming months. This place just feels so right.
720 North Virgil Ave. #4
Los Angeles, CA 90029
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