LA Mag sure knows how to pick 'em! ; not just great restaurants, but locations as well. I've had the privilege to attend quite a few LA Mag events and as much as I love the food I always equally love the locations they hold their events at. This year's "10 Best New Restaurants" event was held at the ROW DTLA in building 767, sure many of us have been to ROW for Smorgasburg LA, but not many of us have entered these beautiful 1920's buildings. I'm an architecture geek, so old buildings like this excite me and I was thrilled to get a peek inside.
We checked in and headed "Upstairs. Fifth floor." (if you know what that's from you're probably be as old as I am). We entered a great big industrial loft space with cement floors and walls, walls with chipped paints exposing the many layers of paint it had previously had, pillars all around, wooden beams, exposed pipes above us and many many windows. The space had so much character and beauty, not to mention a great view of the city.
Once I got over the awesome space. I moved on to the eats! I saw some familiar chef faces from the 2017 event at the 2018 event, like Chef Marcel Vigneron of Wolf, who served a chicken liver toast and he let the beet drop again with his liquid nitrogen beet.
and Kali Restaurant wowed us with a beautiful beef tartare on a charcoal rice cracker, radish and egg yolk sauce. Never did I ever imagine that this pretty little bite was going to taste like a Burger King Whopper, but it did! The secret to that wonderful charbroiled flavor was in the burnt grape seed oil the beef was tossed in. It was quite an impressive bite.
Baran's 2239served up a Seared Steak Sahimi with tangerine ponzu and pickled ginger
This year Here's Looking at you (H-LAY) brought us us Yellowtail with wakame, soubise, kiwi, serrano chili and white soy
and for the new faces, the stars of this year were Dialogue, Felix, Kismet, Botanica and Rosaline.Kismet I didn't get to try, but they served a Sweet potato with puffed wild rice, crispy lentils and coconut vinagrette and Botanica Restaurant served a beautiful salad of shaved Roots and Fruits with winter aillade. It was crunchy, nutty, cheesy, citrusy and perfect! I could have had a large bowl of just this and been happy!
Cosa Buona of Echo Park served up a meatball so light, fluffy and packed with flavor, It came plated with a crispy crouton and burrata cheese. I must admit I lined up twice for it and considered lining up a third.
Rosaline had the longest line at the event and I could see why. Chef Ricardo Zarate delighted us with a Baja Big Eye Tuna Ceviche with Tamari, leche de tigre and finished off with shaved truffle - a bite so yummy who had time to stop and take picture of it.
Felix - these guys sure did trick me. I saw people walking around with this gorgeous thick piece of soft bread the whole time I kept thinking it was bread pudding so I saved it for one of my last bites for something sweet (Haha!) and boy was I fooled when I finally got to the front of the line I got a close up look and it was bread and burrata, but it was very good bread and burrata well, I'd never turn it down.
but I did get my sweet fix at the The Dirty cookie table. They brought so many milk and cookie options the possibilities were endless. I went with a classic though chocolate chip cookie with Almond Milk.
and no event is complete without the cocktails! first to greet you off the elevator when you arrived was Duvel beer not only did they serve hefty portions, but they did so in quite the fancy Tulip Glass.
and up until last night. The only Zzyzx I'd ever heard of was the road on the way to Vegas, but turns out there's a new Zzyzx in town and you won't be doing any driving on it (at least not if you're a responsible drinker) It's a distillery making uniquely flavored Vodkas like Caraway and Chipotle. They had a bar set up were they were mixing up four cocktails, one beer cocktail and a vodka tasting.
My favorite drink station of the evening was the Grey Goose Vodka & St. Germaine bar. They were mixing up martini's and spritzers, including a French Roast Martini made espresso infused St. Germain and a sprinkle of fleur de Sel. It was perk-fect!
If you missed this event, get a head start on the next one!