Jan 2020

The Year In Delicious: Top 10 Bites of 2019

Cafe Du Monde - New Orleans

It’s the last day of January, which seems like as fitting a time as any to finally reflect on my favorite dishes of 2019. Thank you for reading Gastronomy these past thirteen years—it’s been a genuine thrill getting to share my culinary adventures and endeavors on this space. And without further ado, here are the 10 best bites I ate in 2019…

Otoño - Highland Park

Gambas a la Plantxa at Otoño in Highland Park, California

Chef Teresa Montaño has found a new home in Highland Park at Otoño since closing her six-year-old Basque restaurant Racion. By the time we were through with the griddled blue prawns with cherry tomatoes, garlic, and Brandy de Jerez, the only thing that remained on the plate were the blackened shrimp tails. We ate every last morsel—head, whiskers, flesh, and all.

Cotogna - San Francisco

Lamb Sausage Pizza at Cotogna in San Francisco, California

After years of hearing my cousin Michael espouse the glories of Cotogna, we finally had the opportunity to dine there together. Of all the memorable plates that evening, the lamb sausage pizza lingers in my mind for its exceptional crust and balanced toppings.

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Jan 2020

Bar Restaurant – Los Angeles (Silver Lake)

Bar Restaurant - Los Angeles (Silver Lake)

The Astronomer and I checked out Bar Restaurant in Silver Lake during the Thanksgiving holiday while my in-laws were in town to provide free and enthusiastic child care. Black Friday may be the finest time to go out to dinner. Turkey-induced comas and over-charged credit cards make for mellow dining rooms across the city. Our kind of scene.

Bar Restaurant - Los Angeles (Silver Lake)

Here in this comfortable and quirky dining room, Bar Restaurant serves up a “not too serious neo-bistro” dining experience from Chef Douglas Rankin. He previously spent years behind the stoves at Trois Mec, Petit Trois, and the Bazaar.

Bar Restaurant - Los Angeles (Silver Lake)

Before diving into the Euro-Californian fare, The Astronomer and I sipped a cocktail each. I had my usual Old Fashioned, while he had the evening’s special, which was tall, gingery, and well-balanced.

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Jan 2020

Pasjoli – Santa Monica

Pasjoli - Santa Monica

Mom and I braved a brutal Friday night drive from Altadena to Santa Monica to experience Chef Dave Beran’s neo-bistro Pasjoli. The place was very much humming along when we arrived for an early dinner.

Pasjoli - Santa Monica

Seated on the quieter side of the brightly lit dining room, we were separated from the open kitchen and casual bar by a wall. Mom sipped some wine while I honed in on the menu of French small and large plates. We focused mostly on the small plates this evening — it’s the way we like to eat.

Pasjoli - Santa Monica

The first dish to arrive was the blue crab with cauliflower cream and sorrel ($26). The tender hunks of crabmeat were dressed ever so deftly so as not to distract from their intrinsic sweetness.

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