Vege • ta • ble (Los Angeles, CA)

Vegetable (Los Angeles, CA)

Helming the Studio City kitchen, Jerry Yu delivers vegetarian—mostly vegan—dishes devoid of mock meats and omnivorous similes. Yu relies of the breath of organic fruits and vegetable adorn with nuts whipped into luscious sauces. On paper the preparations sound simple, but they comes together like magic on a plate.

Vegetable (Los Angeles, CA)

Roasted Red and Golden Beets with Reed avocado, baby greens, pickled jicama, and shaved radish in a lemon garlic dressing. The earthy beets take center-stage, supported by the buttery avocado and peppery greens. The dish makes only the lightest alteration to already perfect vegetable embracing the spirit of the restaurant’s name.

Vegetable (Los Angeles, CA)

The Cheesy Fingerling Potato with nacho cashew cheese sauce, chives, and coconut sour cream. Buttery potatoes slathered in nutty cheese pull at the parabolic heartstrings connected to the notion of comfort food.

Vegetable (Los Angeles, CA)

Grilled Corn on the Cob with guacamole, brown butter, Sriracha aioli, coconut sour cream and a light dusting of chives. This dish will enviably leave one with messy hands, but isn’t wiping aioli off your face and licking the brown butter dripping down your arms part of the joy of the summer corn harvest?

Vegetable (Los Angeles, CA)

Duo of Seared Maitake and Beech Mushrooms over a red pepper creme with wilted spinach and crispy sage. Now, I strongly dislike mushrooms. I despise their very existence and squirms at the sight of every single variety, in every preparation, by everyone*. So as lovely as these are (and yes I did take a bite) this is not the dish for me. The spinach, on the other hand, was perfect and I happy gobbled that down while everyone else ate these seemingly delicious ‘shrooms.

Vegetable (Los Angeles, CA)

Teetering on the edge of being charred oblivion, the cast iron Roasted Brussel Sprouts at Vegetable continue to delight me. Their feathered fringe nearly black, these cruciferous vegetables retain a tender green core. Soaked in the juices of yellow peach and red onion, the sprouts burst in your mouth. The char is spiked with basaltic, crispy gluten free bread crumbs, and bright lime zest creating dynamic forkfuls with every pass of this dish.

Vegetable (Los Angeles, CA)

I was caution of the “healthy” brown of this artfully stacked Eggplant Lasagna. But the layers of thin eggplant, baby spinach and cashew ricotta made a plausible likeness to its pastaful namesake. Drizzled with a vegan alfredo, the stack balances on a mound of garlic sweet potato purée with pickled sweet onion and heirloom tomatoes strewn upon the balsamic painted platter.

Vegetable (Los Angeles, CA)

This unassuming bowl of Summer Fusilli Pesto was my surprise favorite. Ringlets of toothsome gluten-free pasta curl with cream and ultra fresh basil pesto and cashew ricotta. Tossed with sunshine sweet corn, tender sun dried tomatoes, and red peppers and topped with buttery Reed avocados and fig bacon this rich bowl of summer exemplify the “Guilt Free Comfort Food” ethos of Jerry Yu’s kitchen.

Vegetable (Los Angeles, CA)
Key Lime and Sweet Potato Pie mason jars with Peanut Butter and Fig and Rosemary Ice Cream. I LOVED the Rosemary accent!

3711 Cahuenga Blvd W
Studio City, CA 91604

Facebook: Vegetable

*There is one exception to this personal rule: @panchopalmera. He spikes his mushroom with some sort of magic and I’m completely under his spell.

Make Out (Culver City, CA)

In the shadow of the Culver Hotel, the wellspring of Matthew Kenney’s Make Out quietly places vegan—mostly raw—foods in a glass front case for viewing.  The shelves offer a colorful selection of huge rolls of green, tiny rolls of carrots, flatbreads, and bowls of kelp noodles. Further back, stainless steel holds two daily soups. Samples of both were offered to us and the velvety Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup—drizzled with cashew creme and crunchy pepitas—leaped to the top of our order.

In heyday of NYC’s Pure Food and Wine, Kenney dazzled me with his dehydrated jicama pine nut sushi rice rolls. So I couldn’t pass up his new rendition, the Spicy Carrot Rolls,  with jalapeno cream cheese and shredded carrots. Stuffed with red bell pepper, cucumber, avocado, and young pea shoots these cool and crunchy bites almost lived up to expectation.

Wrapsespecially collard green ones—are the crutch dish of vegan cafes. So I was least excited by the Cobb Collard Green Wrap. But my trepidation was unfounded, this wrap is exceptional. A massive collard husk filled with crisp romaine, sweet and smoky coconut bacon, meaty portobello, creamy avocado, and ranch. I would definitely order this sucker again.

Make Out: Everyday Plant Food
9426 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Instagram: @makeouteveryday

Soy Leaf (San Diego, CA)

After finding success slinging organic smoothies from a train car in Flinn Springs (at the east end of El Cajon), Soy Leaf opened a second location on Magnolia Ave. Filling the menu with pulled jackfruit and house made Italian seitan, Melanie Arce brings quality vegan food to east county.

I jumped instantly to the ever popular BBQ Jackfruit Burger. Tender chunks of saucy pulled jackfruit tempered with crunchy slaw on a soft wheat bun. While I would have preferred more heat less sweet, I totally get why this is the top selling item on the menu.

Carly of ordered the Hickory Black Bean Burger. A house-made patty of quinoa and black beans glistening with a Dijon glaze and served on a bun with lettuce, tomato and mayo. She loved it!

The burgers come will a small side of coconut oil and sea salt scented kale chips. There is a small dining room (with art by some on Soy Leaf’s young fans) although there seemed to be ample take out service as well. As we sat there eating a few people wondered in, looked at the menu, then walked out.

“That happens like once a day,” explained Melanie. “This use to be a BBQ joint and not everyone realizes it has changed hands.”

Their loss, our gain.

Soy Leaf
Juice Bar & Healthy Grill
330 Magnolia Ave El Cajon, CA

Instagram: @soyleafcafe
Facebook: Soy Leaf

Souley Vegan (Oakland, CA)

Flush with Gold Rush fortune, in 1857 Theophilide St. Germain built herself an opulent wine shop at 301 Broadway in downtown Oakland. Stalwartly as the city evolved around it, its perseverance makes it the oldest building in Oakland.  Now, it’s outfitted by the equally indomitable Tamearra Dyson who quit her day job to follow her creole roots into the kitchen. It was a high risk move from which we all benefit.

Colorful tiles adore the surfaces of the large, double dining room interior. A long dessert counter turns into a wine and beer bar—although anyone seeking a deeper selection of brews can head next door to outside-food-welcoming Beer Revolution.

We started with the classic 3 Item Combo. A little pre-reading proved the Mac n’ Cheese and Southern Fried Tofu both strong recommends, so I ran with those. For the third, a vegetable seemed appropriate so I ordered the Collard/Mustard Greens. The ensemble is finished off with a sweet slice of cake-like cornbread. This platter is really more then one person should eat at a sitting; so bring a friend… or tupperware.

For those skimming, here’s my breakdown of the platter:

Mac n’ Cheese: I was hesitated about ordering this. I’ve exhausted my tolerance for the endless stream of mediocre noochy noodles but the guy taking my order reiterated that is a must and so I caved. Being such a popular item, I imagine the kitchen has a huge 30 gallon vat of this stuff constantly simmering 24/7—or at least that is what it tastes like.

Southern Fried Tofu: This is another dish I’ve been constantly disappointed by (sorry Doomie’s and Southern Fried Vegan) but Souley’s pulls through. I loved this crisp cornmeal shell filled with a tender slab of tofu. Served with a tangy tofu-based tartar sauce, this definitely lives up to expectation.

Collard/Mustard Greens:  This turned out to be the best item on the platter. Savoy greens stewed—but not over cooked—with a hint of sweetness from the tomato. We were fighting over the last bite!

For dish two, the Seitan Chick ‘n’ Waffles sounded irresistible.  But the leathery sheet of battered and fried seitan atop a crisp waffle is better avoided.

A few days later we met up with friends at Beer Revolution so you know what that means… take out from Souley! The BBQ Tofu seems the next appropriate protein to try. It’s a saucy winner. Tamearra Dyson is a master of tofu! On the side I revisited the Collard/Mustard Greens because it’s kind of the greatest.

I also ordered a classic Biscuit and Gravy. It is fine… like just okay… but why anyone would choose this over the luscious cornbread is a mystery to me.

Souley Vegan
301 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607

Instagram:  @SouleyVegan
Twitter: @SouleVegan
Facebook: Souley Vegan

Torrey Pints, Whole Foods La Jolla (San Diego,CA)

There are some good (great!) vegan items that have just hit the menu Torrey Pints! Chef Vanessa Briscoe created a slew of new vegan options for the pub menu. I got a sneak preview of the in progress items and am THRILLED with the new offerings.

While the quantity of items doesn’t compare to some other Whole Foods pub menus,  the quality is superb. The largely whole-food and plant-based dishes explore the chef’s creative edge… to our benefit!

The Raw Vegan Paleo Wrap is filled with veggies, black beans and quiona then given a hint of complex sweetness from shredded coconut and fresh pineapple. Finished with black salt… I predict I’ll be eating a lot of these in the future.

Eggplant Marianna maybe coming soon to Torrey Pints Tapas night! Crinkly skin of a Thai eggplant curl up exposing tender seed-filled flesh in a pool of pulpy tomato sauce and basil oil.

When first saw the Heirloom Tomato sandwich I though: Um, it’s just a slice of tomato on bread… But this is a fine example of produce quality shining! Juicy fat slices of tomato are slathered in a mint basil mayo and stuffed inside a ciabatta bun. It’s my favorite of the new items.

Spicy SD Soy Dairy Tofu Bites… this are good if for some reason you’re not in the mood for the Buffalo Cauliflower—which, don’t worry, is still on the new menu.

And lastly, the Beyond Meat Beast Burger has come to Torrey Pints! Layered with shaved beets and greens on a Bread & Cie ciabatta bun slathered in herbed mayo it’s a beautiful change up from the previous taro burger.

Torrey Pints
Whole Foods Market
8825 Villa La Jolla Dr
La Jolla, CA 92037
Instagram: @wfmlajolla
Twitter: @wfmsandiego

All food hosted.

City, O City (Denver, CO)

The motto for the city of Denver should be: Come to Denver for our Seitan Wings! Vegan wings—be them seitan, mock chicken or cauliflower—have come a long long way these past few years. Through those years I’ve made the pleasant effort to consume as many as possible. I’m thrilled to say that the Seitan Wings ($10 / $5 Happy Hour) at City, O City are THE BEST I’ve ever had up to this point. A heaping slab—I’d say at least a pound—of chewy house-made setian is sliced and fried in a crisp batter creating ‘wings’ with a gristly interior and crackling-like exterior. The texture even holds true after a night in the fridge… yes, they are still crispy the next day. They come slathered in a choice of BBQ or Buffalo Sauce. While I normally order buffalo anything, on this occasion I gave in to my BF’s pleas for BBQ after nearly burned his face off with Buffalo Tigers at Vertical Diner. He was a fan of the sauce.  I found the BBQ overly sweet and less smokey than I prefer, but there is nothing inherently wrong with that. No matter what I thought of the sauce, it could not mask the perfect execution of these seitan wings. The service at City, O City feels slow. But sitting at the kitchen bar we could see the action never let up. Pans were flash flying, tickets were printing and the mellow dude at the salad/waffle station never broke a beat. Watching him jump back and forth between stainless steel bowls and waffle iron, it was hard to choose which station I wanted him to jump on for me. I almost ordered the Chilled Rice Noodle Salad (seen being made here) except that day’s special waffle had my name all over it: Yes, my name is Nacho Waffle ($12)! This is part of the W.O.W series, an ever changing delight of unexpected Waffle Of the Week. The gluten free Black Bean Waffle comes topped with Vegan Cheese Sauce, Pico de Gallo, Chili Tortilla Strips and Coconut Cilantro Sour Cream. Conceptually, I loved it. Consuming it, I found myself wishing for a contracting texture—such as jalapenos, olives or radishes—to cut through the similar sour cream and cheese sauces. The Kimchi and “Sausage” Torta ($12 / $5 Happy Hour) sounded amazing: Fig/apricot/barley patty with pickle relish, mayo and house-made kimchi. What I got was a un-fruity black patty, finely chopped mild pickles and a generic sandwich roll saturated with too much mayo. Although we arrive around 2pm on a weekday, presumably after the lunch rush, City, O City was packed. This also put us into Happy Hour (2pm-6pm and 11pm-close, 7 Days a week) where popular items are only $5 for full sized portions. But all hours at City, O City appear to be happy. We chilled by to this nifty window planter for 20 minutes waiting of a table—any wait for those Seitan Wings is happy indeed.

City O’ City
206 East 13th Avenue
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 831-6443

Thanksgiving Pop-Up with The Lusty Vegan(s)

I had the great luck of catching up with Chef Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg on their Culinary Art Tour for their relationship manifesto/cookbook The Lusty Vegan. The post is live on The Vedge which I strongly encourage you to read {wink}. The tour concludes next week in Los Angeles with a chance to meet and eat with the dynamic vegan duo:

20141114-Kelly Bone-Lusty Vegan At Mohawk Bend (1)

On Monday November 24th, Chef Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg are bringing their new cookbook The Lusty Vegan to Mohawk Bend and preparing a monstrous Thanksgiving feast. I got ahold of the menu to share and frankly cannot wait to dive into this vegan holiday blowout! Yes, there are still some seats left…

First Course:
Waldorf salad

Second Course:
Corn and potato chowder with cornbread

Third Course (Served Family Style):
Savory bread pudding
Yams w/marshmallow
Wild rice stuffing
Seitan Wellington
Vodka cranberry sauce

Fourth Course:
Peach and plum cobbler with vanilla ice cream

Monday, November 24 @ 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $35/pp
Mohawk Bend, 2141 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Event details here

Eat the Veggie Grill Menu Challenge: Sandwiches

This summer I won a $200 gift card from Veggie Grill in their Taste the Sunshine Instagram contest.  While my first instinct was to stuff my face with $200 worth of Crispy Cauliflower, I reluctantly let that dream go and instead committed myself to eat everything on the Veggie Grill menu! Two months later, I’ve burned through the gift card and have just a handful of items to go. This week I closed out my first category: Sandwiches.

So, for your reading pleasure, here is every sandwich on Veggie Grill’s menu:

Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’ ($9.75) Fried Chickin’, lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, spicy mayo. Blackened (non-fried) upon request

Possibly the most enduring of the Veggie Grill Sandwiches, the Santa Fe Crispy Chicken is often cited as the gateway dish for omnis to ease into vegan fast food. The breaded patty holds a juicy chickn’ slab so convincing I’ve seen people not realize it’s vegan

Grillin’ Chickin’ ($8.95) Grilled Chickin’, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cilantro pesto, chipotle ranch

Part of the beauty of my Eat the Veggie Grill Menu Challenge is dropping my assumptions about dishes I haven’t tried… Like the Grillin’ Chickn’ Sandwich. I always figured it’s the same as the Santa Fe Crispy Chickn’ but without breading… and why would I want it without breading?! But, as it turns out, the “Blackened” Chickn’ is actually *more* flavorful than the crispy. In fact, this maybe a new favorite.

B.T.L.A. ($9.95) Smokey Tempeh bacon, sliced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro pesto tossed arugula, aioli mayo, grilled sourdough

During the Eat the Veggie Grill Menu Challenge I finally tried the universally loathed B.L.T.A.! Every Instagram post I’ve seen on this sandwich has given it a big fat thumbs down. Having now tried it, I’m unclear on where the yuck-factor comes from. I did order it with the garlic aioli on the side because I’m not a fan of aioli on anything. Otherwise, I’d say this a perfectly good sandwich that I probably would order again… in fact, I did!

Following @lxestrada‘s Pro-Tip, I ordered the B.L.T.A. as a wrap with Crispy Chickn’. OMG SO GOOD! I could eat this allday/everyday–except it cost $14. Le sigh…

Glazed Tofu Banh Mi ($9.95) Glazed 5-spice tofu, chargrilled eggplant, house-pickled carrots, white cabbage. Fresh jalapeños, basil, cilantro, mint leaves

Recently, new fall items arrived at Veggie Grill, like this awful Glazed Tofu Banh Mi! The tofu and herbs are fine, but it tastes like it’s served on a Generic Supermarket Brand hot dog bun… Ugh, maybe it’s better as a wrap. Update: It is not.

VG-Cheeseburger ($9.95) Topped with VG-Cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion, chipotle ranch. El Dorado Style upon request with jalapeños and caramelized onions.

Inside and out of food challenges, my go-to comfort item at Veggie Grill is The VG Cheeseburger Eldorado Style with tempeh bacon. It tastes like a Gardein/ Daiya mashup… completely fake, majorly messy. I’m sure it is terrible for me but I love it.

Buffalo Bomber ($9.65) Crispy Chickin’ tossed with spicy Buffalo sauce, tomato, red onion, lettuce, creamy ranch dressing

I use to LOVE the Buffalo Bomber at Veggie Grill… but then I discovered the B-Wing Salad and have never gone back. After revisiting this sandwich during the Eat the Veggie Grill Menu Challenge I still feel the same. For you see, I adore buffalo sauce and by slicing the fried chickn’ leads to an exponentially higher amount of buffalo soaked surface, hence more buffalo flavor. Plus the bun muddles the buffalo sauce further. So, in conclusion, the B-Wing Salad is better than the Buffalo Bomber because of math.

Bali Bliss™ ($8.45) Organic tempeh, lettuce, tomato, red onion, chipotle ranch. Blackened or Buffalo-style upon request. Add avocado 1.50

Not to be missed is the Bali Bliss BUFFALO STYLE. This sandwich is massive! I wouldn’t recommend getting the additional avocado. It make the sandwich too ‘creamy’ since it already has an ample amount of ranch dressing.

“Crab” Cake ($9.45) Crispy “Crab” cake, spiced tartar sauce, pickles, tomato, lettuce, red onion

On the last day of the Eat the Veggie Grill Menu Challenge: Sandwiches, I tackled the two I dreaded–the most horrifying of which is the “Crab” Cake. The thick breaded patty is loaded with lumpy hunks of fish-like protein that mimics the real thing far too closely for this seafood loathing girl. The sweet relish of tarter sauce helps cut the ocean of flavor bellowing forth with every bite–but not enough, no, not enough for me. The flavors of the sea linger on my tongue, mocking me as my face crumples into a sour cringe and I push this dish into the arms of my gleefully awaiting BF. He devours it with innocent gusto. To those who enjoy the taste of seafood, per haps you will enjoy this dish; but to though whose bodies involuntary retreat at the mention of fish, this dish is far too “real” for us.

Papa’s Portobello ($8.95) Grilled mushroom, chopped tomato, basil and garlic pomodoro, caramelized onions, cilantro pesto, lettuce, red onion, chipotle ranch

There are lot of people–vegan and omni–who rag on Veggie Grill for focusing “too much” on imitating meat. My junk food heart completely disagrees. But for these folks interested in wholer-foods, the disgusting Papa’s Portobello is for them. The supple slab of charred portobello is loaded with chopped tomato, basil, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, cilantro pesto, lettuce, red onion and chipotle ranch. Much like seafood, I cannot even pretend to tolerate slippery mushrooms attempting to pass as burgers and this one packs way too much for me. I *know* I’m in the minority on ‘shrooms, but I also know there are others out there who deliver the long eye roll when a grilled portobello is the only veg option. For those like me, your mind will not be changed by this burger. For the other 70% of you who dig putting fungus in your mouth, enjoy.

BBQ “Steak” ($8.95) Veggie Steak in tangy BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, chipotle ranch, coleslaw

Bonus Sandwich! So, in the middle of this challenge, Veggie Grill transitioned to a new menu and dropped the BBQ Steak sandwich. Can’t say I’m surprised. Stuffed with strips of veggie-steak in tangy barbeque sauce, caramelized onions, chipotle ranch and coleslaw, this heavy, condiment soaked sandwich (I got it as a wrap) is not what appeals to me today. But it was the sort of dish I gravitated towards in the past. The BBQ Steak one of the very first things I tried at Veggie Grill when I moved to LA–and I totally hated it for all the same reasons I hate it today. I think it is way too saucy but I know a lot of people love this crap.

SunCafé (Los Angeles,CA)

I rue the day I assumed SunCafé was a commonplace sandwich/salad/smoothie joint. It is so, so, so much more. The converted 1920’s ranch home (formally Zach’s Café) on Ventura Blvd extrudes warmth and comfort while the menu promotes whole food in comforting and familiar forms.

Chef Roy Elam—who shreds guitars along with carrots—heads the inventive menu of colossus salads, raw burgers, golden beet linguini and Reuben themed pizzas… but we had no room for those because we—Elana, Hanna, Alice and I—filled up just about everything else.

Sun Nachos—one of the most popular menu items—were the obvious starter. While debating whether to get the dish with baked blue corn chips or with raw thin-sliced jicama chips, the waitress chimed in “You can do a split order.” So that’s exactly what we did. Topped with “SunChorizo,” nacho cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, jalapeño, green onion and cashew sour cream this concoction makes the best vegan nachos I’ve had to date. Half of us loved the corn chips, the other half loved the jicama, so a split order is the perfect way to go! Me? I preferred the chips.

The Caesar Salad was not what we expected.  Crisp leaves of romaine lettuce and quartered cherry tomatoes are tossed in raw Caesar dressing with capers then lightly coated in garlic pecan crumble. Apparently there was also raw croutons in here… do you see them? I don’t. We asked the waitress and she swore they crushed up in there. Still, the subtly dressed salad refreshed the pallet; although I may eat my way through the rest of the salad menu before coming back around to the Ceasar.

Raw Cream of Mushroom Soup… I didn’t care for this one. The taste is subtle and refined, but the thick and frothy texture is not for me.

I had nearly given up on all vegan mac & cheese. From the ashes of the sloppy glue or watery plastic of most vegan versions rises the glory of SunCafé’s Mac & Cheese—and it’s gluten free to boot! Slender tubes of quinoa pasta are tossed with tiny diced tomatoes and then broiled in the smoothest-richest-most-perfect-ever cashew cheese sauce. Browned tips of pasta periscope up from the bubbling bath as chewy charred bits stick to the sides was we scrape it from the cast iron dish.

The Farmer’s Market Pizza was an unexpected pleasure. While the gluten free rice flour crust is mearly passable, the toppings sing. Market fresh figs sit atop white sauce (a blend of cashews, garlic, shallots, and nutritional yeast), with smokey tempeh bacon, peppery arugula, meyer lemon vin and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.

Owner Ron Russell approached our table as we debated who got the last slice. A tall (or so I think… we were sitting down) man with a beaming smile who accepted our raving compliments on the pizza but deflected them into the kitchen. “The kitchen suggested this combination… I wasn’t too sure about it. I mean figs? On a pizza…?” We all laughed. This moment of commodity distracted everyone as I stole the last slice.

I would have been happy to end the meal here, but most people love dessert. My friends are no exception. The loose, mouth-coating texture of cheesecake is one of my least favorite desserts ever; but cheesecake is the star of the menu here. I quickly learned why. The Cookie Dough Cheesecake is firm and dense—perfect for me—not too sweet and plenty for four hungry girls. The base is a mixture of cashews, coconut oil, and cacao nibs with other stuff (I’m not sure what) on top. It made a fan out of me; I still haven’t shut up about loving this cheesecake!

10820 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 308-7420

Goldie’s (Los Angeles, CA)

An impromptu weekday lunch with my mom finally brought me to Goldie’s. The living wall beckoned us from the street but offer little shade for a midday meal. Fortunately, the interior proved to be lovely. Designed by the restaurateur Nick Mathers, it’s been described as Frank Lloyd Wright-meets-lumberyard which doesn’t make any sense to me at all. This is clearly a mid-century derived design accented with Moroccan tiles and knock-off Wegner Elbow chairs.

The smoky kitchen air wafted through the elegantly slit wall directly into the dining room. We figured if we are going to breathe all this smoke we might as well start off with the Grilled Flatbread ($8). Slathered with honey, rosemary and ricotta, the flatbread arrived unsliced on a wooden platter. With butter knives we dully sawed into the tough bread—neither crisp nor chewy—leaving deep groves in the gorgeously finished wooden plate. The ricotta was flavorless, topped with such a scant amount of rosemary and honey that the kitchen may as well have left it off. Flatbreads are no longer on the menu. I understand why.

The Kale Salad ($12) was a much better event. Tender leaves of mixed-age kale tossed in honey dressing with thin slices of granny smith apple and finished with toasted sesame and blushing pink pickled onions. Large and filling, this salad was woefully overdressed. It was so unfortunate considering the how well all the other elements worked together. I definitely would order this again, but with half the dressing.

The Grilled Baby Leeks ($14) were another head-scratcher.  The slender stocks of what looked more like scallions then baby leeks (we asked the waitress and she said they were scallions) were almost impossible to cut through. The pungent puddle taleggio fonduta balanced out the acidity of the pickled seeds. Finished off with a tangle of crispy onions, I found the onions more palatable then the tough leeks.

Finally, the Roasted Carrots ($12) arrived. The charred exteriors, filled with tender sweet flesh, are cooked perfectly. The buttermilk bath envelopes the crunch of the spiced pistachio. This was a phenomenal dish. Too bad the rest of the meal couldn’t match its quality.

8422 W 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048