Previously on Adam Riff™:
I have a formidable backlog of food notes on New York City and Los Angeles dating back to May 2014 that I desperately need to clear. Some restaurants I tried have closed. Some dishes I tried are no longer available.
Flyover Los Angeles (May 2014 – May 2016)
amelia / atticus creamery and pies / baroo / beer belly / cafe at the line / canter's deli / cofax / commissary / coni'seafood / du-par's / the gumbo pot / homestate / kali / locol / night and market song / odys and penelope / plan check / quarters korean bbq / republique / sack / salt and straw / seoul waffle pizza / sung nong dan / short cake bakery / wolvesmouth: cut your teeth
(Baroo) was sold to me as "an oddball fermentation restaurant" and "a taste of the future."
jobs tears, kamut, farro, roasted koji beet cream, concentrated kombu dashi, toasted seeds [sunflower and pumpkin] and macadamia nuts, finger lime, rose onion pickle
^ A creamy plate of mold.
Kimchi Fried Rice (Baroo)
pineapple fermented kimchi, amira basmati rice, 63°C sous vide egg, gremolata, pineapple jalapeño salsa, purple potato chip, roasted seaweed, toasted buckwheat and quinoa, micro greens
"Baroo" means "a bowl that Buddhist monks are allowed to possess and use for their meals until their last breath."
Baroo's Ragu Style (Baroo)
handmade pasta, spicy faux oxtail ragu, tendon puff, gochujang, gremolata with heirloom cherry tomatoes, krout powder, three-years-aged parmaigiano reggiano
Mocha Chip Cookie (Cafe at The Line)
—"L.A. Weekly's Best Cookie in L.A." I was skeptical, but god-DAMN…it IS the best cookie in Los Angeles.
Ritz Toffee Bar (Cafe at The Line)
—The crust contains Ritz cracker.
Pescado Zarandeado (Coni'Seafood)
grilled snook with salt and house sauce
^ Whole snook fajitas. Bring a friend or three.
Tacos de Marlin (Coni'Seafood)
smoked marlin with onion and tomato
—Another signature menu item. Too salty for me.
(Commissary) is a vegetable-forward restaurant inside a greenhouse on the pool deck of a hotel. Its cocktails are served in plastic deli containers.
At (The Gumbo Pot), a sign on the counter marketing a crawfish pie tempted me to order one, upon which an employee pulled a Hot Pockets-lookin' box out of a freezer and dropped a frozen pie in a deep fryer. -___-
Toasted Meringue Gelato (Kali)
cured egg yolk shavings
^ A stupendous dessert.
While eating it, I realized that it's a deconstructed egg.
(LocoL) is a fast food concept by Roy Choi of (Kogi BBQ) fame with the mission of bringing affordable and healthful food to low-income neighbourhoods.
On (LocoL)'s advisory board is Rene Redzepi, the chef who started (Noma) in Copenhagen, often called the best restaurant in the world.
Fried Chicken Burg (LocoL)
slaw, buttermilk mayo, hot sauce
^ I guess this was my favourite menu item…?
The chicken patty is cut with fermented bulgur, and the bun is custom-made [partly with rice flour] by San Francisco's famed Tartine Bakery.
Shout-out to the baker at (Odys and Penelope).
Previously on Adam Riff™ [May 2, 2014]:
I snagged a ticket to this next week. It was $185, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to experience a Wolvesmouth meal.
WOLVESMOUTH: CUT YOUR TEETH
Over two years ago in a nondescript warehouse in Atwater Village, I participated in a dinner experience "exploring harvest, reproduction, and the cycle of life and death" amid a constructed landscape and taxidermy.
I sat beside a songwriter for DreamWorks Animation films.
A custom chandelier made with 7000 coyote teeth. I thought they were maggots.
The first course:
"Wolves in the Snow" (Wolvesmouth: Cut Your Teeth)
venison, pine gelée, cauliflower purée, cocoa coffee crumble, blueberry meringue, cabbage, hen of the woods mushroom, blackberry gastrique
^ Eaten with your hands.
A parade of dishes followed, set to a soundtrack that included the Twin Peaks theme song.
Halibut (Wolvesmouth: Cut Your Teeth)
pickled vegetables, jalapeño crema, poblano purée, candied lemon gelée, "tortillas" [small spheres of masa]
^ An ingeniously deconstructed fish taco.
Lurking in the background the whole meal, underneath a painting of a woman pouring honey on her naked self, was a honey dessert:
Honey Steamed Cake (Wolvesmouth: Cut Your Teeth)
honey coconut crunch, ricotta, nectarine, cornbread, honey ice cream
The final course:
Olive Oil and Lime Parfait (Wolvesmouth: Cut Your Teeth)
buttermilk panna cotta, pistachio genoise, pistachio crunch, strawberry, ice
^ Straight ice as an ingredient.
Instead of clearing our parfait plates, staff powered on a fog machine, distributed protective eyewear, and, one by one, each dinner guest hurled his or her plate at a wall while "I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots" by Wolves in the Throne Room blasted.
My throw was terrible.
Blanco Breakfast Taco (HomeState)
egg whites, mushrooms, monterey jack
Pork Toro (Night and Market Song)
grilled fatty pig neck, 'jaew' northeastern chile dip
Cold Fried Chicken Sandwich (Sack)
ranch, cheese, lettuce, pickles, hot sauce
Old Bay Potato Chips (Sack)
Chocolate Pecan Pie (The Gumbo Pot)
Strawberry Pistachio Pie (Atticus Creamery and Pies)
top filled with strawberry cream mousse and bottom filled with pistachio cream
Ococoa's Fig and Sesame Butter Cup Ice Cream (Salt and Straw)
chocolate sesame ice cream with ribbons of a fig jam
Som Tum Tod (Night and Market Song)
fried nest of papaya, dressing and trimmings
Nadia was being a baby, so we ordered the non-deep-fried green papaya salad.