Nov 2018

Simone – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Simone - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Here at Simone Restaurant, one of the newest and handsomest dining rooms in Los Angeles, Chef Jessica Largey serves a vegetable-centered menu starring California’s unparalleled produce. The Astronomer and I came in for dinner in early October, a month or so after Simone opened its doors, and both the food and service were impressively polished.

Prior to opening Simone, Chef Largey was the chef de cuisine of Manresa and the recipient of the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year award in 2015.

Simone - Los Angeles (Downtown)

The cocktails coming out of Duello, the ambitious bar inside Simone, were as thoughtful as the dishes coming out of the kitchen this evening. I sipped the booze-forward “Kimchi Gibson” ($18) made with gin, kimchi and dry vermouth, while The Astronomer selected the “Mamacita Mole Blanco” ($17) with tequila, mole grenadine and lime oleo saccharum.

Simone - Los Angeles (Downtown)

First up were hearty slices of sesame seed-crusted sourdough served with house-cultured butter ($10).

Simone - Los Angeles (Downtown)

While I usually pass on cheese courses, the funnily named Ewereka caught my eye tonight ($14). Served with a fig compote, seeded crackers, and mustard, the firm and forward sheep’s milk cheddar was a fantastic addition to our feast.

Simone - Los Angeles (Downtown)

One of the strongest dishes was the burrata ($16) accented with plum confit, nigella, purslane, and mint. Burrata is one of those ingredients that never fails to please but also rarely surprises. This unique preparation was equal parts delicious and unexpected.

Simone - Los Angeles (Downtown)

The “Grilled Brassicas Caesar” ($15), the chef’s spin on the classic salad, included torn lemon croutons, grapefruit, and blistered almonds. With each fibrous bite, I felt like I was doing something positive for my body, which I must admit isn’t a common sentiment while dining out.

Simone - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Another one of my favorites this evening was the thinly sliced kanpachi ($18) served with “crispy rice cakes,” Prity melon ponzu, and yuzu—a cheffy take on the beloved sushi house staple ‘spicy tuna on crispy rice.’

Simone - Los Angeles (Downtown)

The tri-colored pole beans ($15) also gave me some healthy vibes. The slightly snappy beans came accented with urfa chili (Turkish chili pepper), creme fraiche, purple tomatillo, and almonds.

Simone - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Laid out like an accordion, the charred squash ($18) was prettied with nectarines and an awesomely flavorful macadamia salsa macha. 

Simone - Los Angeles (Downtown)

And finally, a comforting and straightforward bowl of dumplings—ricotta gnudi ($20) with grated tomato, guanciale, and basil.

Dinner at Simone celebrated the gloriousness of California’s late-summer produce. The Astronomer and I appreciated how each dish, vivid and varied in its composition, highlighted the season’s best with enough flourishes to captivate our attention. It’ll be divine to return to see how the menu flexes and bends with each season’s bounteous haul.

Simone Restaurant
449 South Hewitt Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: 424-433-3000

One year ago: The Arthur J – Manhattan Beach
Two years ago: 
Slacker.
Three years ago:
 N/Naka – Los Angeles
Four year ago: {swoon} Grilled Cheese with Pastrami at The Hat
Five years ago: 
“Old Chengdu Traditional Dishes” at Dan Dan Tian Shui Mian – Chengdu
Six years ago: Umami Burger – Pasadena
Seven years ago: Son of a Gun – Los Angeles
Eight years ago: Crest Cafe – San Diego (Hillcrest)
Nine years ago: Maple Bacon Biscuits
Ten years ago: Phở Hòa- San Diego
Eleven years ago: Cơm Tấm – Broken Rice
Twelve years ago: Jim ‘N Nick’s – Birmingham

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