A few nights ago I embarked on a journey to try Los Angeles Magazines's List of the "10 Best New restaurants in LA". Normally this would have run me hundreds of dollars on food, a lot of driving, valet charges, ten outfits and a lot of time but thanks to LA Magazine's Best New Restaurants Event I got to try them all at once at The A+D (Architectural and Design) Museum - a trendy urban warehouse in the Arts District. They each showcased their best dishes and they were quite impressive.
I started my culinary adventure at
Erven - No. 1 on the list, surprisingly it was a vegan restaurant, but when I got my first bite of the
beer battered tofu slider -- It all made sense. It was Umame packed into a fluffy slightly sweet golden little bun. The tofu was soft I'm guessing no firmer than medium it was hot and coated with a thin layer of crispy beer batter, it had crispiness and creaminess from the cabbage salad and tanginess from the pickle it was sauced and seasoned just right. I can't think of any flavor or texture that didn't exist in this bite, It was delightful!
Pickled Mussel topped with a garlic foam
"The Quial Indian Egg" not sure if this is a real thing in India , but I'm guessing it's a Scottish egg with Indian flavors The quail egg was wrapped in a succulent lamb sausage served with curry jus, and cucumber Salad. Real thing or made up I don't know, but it was good and I had two.
Here's Looking at You (H-lay for short)
The Soft Shell prawn served with a diabla sauce, avocado and rau ram was delicious and surprisingly easy to eat through the shell since the shell looked so solid.
Nancy's Day Boat Scallop dish was a nice surf & turf dish served with duck bacon, sprouted lentils and orange creme fresh.
Manhattan Beach Post
Citrus cured salmon with cucumber, roe and an avocado cream so good I had to go for two of these too!
Unit 120collaboration withNow Serving LA
Salt Cod Chowder this gorgeous liquid gold is loaded with salt cod green garlic mussels and chickpeas and let's not forget that delightful little crispy crouton. So good and just perfect for the rainy evening.
Nashville Hot Chicken Wings - with kosher dill pickles these babies came in heat levels of country to hot. This was obviously the most popular booth at the event the line was practically out the door for this chicken, but that didn't keep me away. I braved the line cause I had to try that spicy chicken everyone was raving about and turns out it was a lot of fun in the line because I discovered more booth's hiding behind the line and two bars one to my left serving Duvel Beers and one to my right serving Sapphire Gin cocktails so I got myself a cocktail and the line went by in no time of course the conversation was pretty great too with the hubby. I was almost next for my spicy chicken but as I got closer I got to see the flushed looks on people's faces and the teary eyes I convinced myself "Oh these people just must not have a tolerance for spice", "it'll be fine... I like spice" I said to myself, but as I saw more and more people and heard the conversations around me about how spicy this chicken was I began to doubt my decision so when asked what I wanted I went with medium thinking it was a safe choice -- spicy but safe. I was wrong. I bit into it and I immediately felt to sting of the chillie powder and since the chicken was fresh out of the fryer, the heat made it even worse. I tried moving on from it but my lips got tinglier and tinglier so I decided to walk over to The Dirty Cookie booth and had a shot of almond milk to sooth my palate. I felt immediate gratification and was able to think clearly again and clearly these chillie powders need to be labeled on a one thru ten scale and in my opinion the medium starts at about an eight so the spicy must be off the charts hot! So now you know people, this chicken is no joke. It's spicy, but undoubtedly good; juicy with a nice crispy coating. Winner! Winner..... You know the rest!
Howlin Ray's was also the funnest booth in the house it was fun to watch the process but also the guys were just clearly having fun and so proud of their chicken.
as you already know saved me from the spice invasion on my kisser, but also provided a sweet finish to the night. These little cookie shot cups came in all sorts of flavors chocolate chip, red velvet, chocolate, cookies and cream and more with your choice of milk to fill them with some of the options included whole, chocolate and almond milks .
yuzu, citrus, berries, almonds, nastutium, and liquid nitrogen
because you can't experience the beauty of it in a picture here's a little clip.
Overall It was a great event -- delicious food, good drinks, fun ambience and a photo booth that's always fun! If I had to pick my top Three of the night I'd go with The Cured Salmon from Manhattan Beach Post, the Soft Shell Prawn from Here's Looking at You (H-Lay) and Baran's 2239 That Indian Quail egg was delish!