This year, my annual LA trip is the start of 4 weeks away from home. I know I’ll be eating fabulously for the month, and it’s my intention try to keep up to date in posting, but I have a hard time pulling myself away from experiencing the moments to document my adventures. This time though, I’m going to try to keep up.
In my past few visits to LA, I’ve been focused on revisiting favourites and eating easy, but on this trip, there were a few new places that were to enticing to ignore.
I’ve been following Dave Beran and his fabulous (Michelin-starred) Dialogue restaurant since it opened in 2017. My visits to LA rarely include multiple course, hours-long experiences, so I’ve kept Dialogue on the shelf. But as I started researching for this trip, I was ecstatic to find out that Beran’s new upscale french bistro Pasjoli had just opened.
Pasjoli is a beautiful restaurant that feels like you’ve been transported to Paris, with a menu filled with a lighter twist on market-inspired French food. The menu is filled with delicious sounding dishes that are inventive, thoughtful and very complex.
Not wanting to commit to a main plate, we ordered 4 selections from the from the Hors D’Oeuvres section. Our choices were bang-on and as an added bonus, Chef Beran was in the restaurant and giving good time to his guests through the evening. Having the chef sharing his mind about the dishes always add to the experience of the meal.
Chef Beran enthusiastically explained that in many of the dishes, he was inspired by the inventive and artistic style of Escoffier and wanted to deliver dishes that were fun and focused on ingredients from Southern California.
Blue crab with cauliflower cream, with little pieces of cauliflower for textural crunch, was a perfectly balanced bite. The tartare de boeuf, beautifully presented and delicious sitting on top of the crisp bread it was served with.
Ragout d’oignons caramélisés, basically a french onion soup in tart form was soul satisfying and carnard bourdelaise, a savory bread pudding made with duck confit and nuggets of preserved cherries.
On my ever growing list for LA, the area with the most places I want to try out and never get to, is DTLA. I ventured out on a Friday morning with intentions of over-eating and checking out the sights.
It’s been a few years since I’ve done a sushi omakase in LA, so this year I decided to indulge myself. Prices of sushi omakase have sky-rocketed over the years, so my choices were limited to lunch, where I’m able to have the experience without having to pay double, often triple the price. I chose Michelin-starred Sushi Q, known for their high quality , “reasonably priced” omakase because its downtown location put me in an area I wanted to explore.
$75 and 30 minutes later, I was finished my 10 piece omakase. While the quality was amazing, in a setting that made me feel like I was in Japan, my solitary sushi experience was ruined by the loud abrasive pair of men whose volume & language would have been better suited in a sports bar. I left feeling like these men were more disruptive than any of my photo taking may have been.
Not feeling particularly zen after lunch, I went next door to the Nomad Hotel for some time to relax and enjoy on their rooftop patio. The sun was out and the drinks were delicious and of course I indulged in more than one. It was the perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon.
Saturday was filled with clean-eating easy favourites including stops at Backyard Bowls for an açaí bowl and Mainland poke.
I built my Sunday daytime plans around a trip to Silver Lake to eat at the Ceviche Project. Of all the LA restaurants I follow on Instagram, no place makes me salivate more than Ceviche Project.
The restaurant was slammed the night before so they were sold out of many of the things that I’d been pining over from their IG feed in the previous days. But in the end, it didn’t matter what they didn’t have, the meal we did order was filled with fresh flavours and bright notes and left me wishing Ceviche Project wasn’t so far out of the way to visit.
Tai snapper ceviche with sweet notes of pineapple and crunchy corn nuts, followed by 2 stellar tostadas, octopus and shrimp aguachile.
My most anticipated meal of the weekend was Felix in Venice. Evan Funke’s magical handmade pastas have been the most talked about dishes amongst my food-loving friends since it opened.
I found the documentary Funke which followed the opening of the restaurant. While the movie didn’t make Funke come across as the nicest person, his talent and passion to master the craft of pasta making was undeniable. I entered Felix with huge anticipation of the meal ahead.
As I waited for the washroom at Felix, I was able to witness the action at the pass, helmed by Funke. Any feelings of unease of his character from the movie was calmed by watching him work.
Fiori di zucca filled with crema de ricotta and fried as delicate as tempura and sweet gamberi with bagnetto verde, a sauce made with garlic and parsley.
All of the pastas looked incredible, and it was to narrow down to two. Mezze maniche alla gricia with guanciale, black pepper and romano and pappardelle with bolognese were both soulful and delicious. The handmade, hand-rolled, hand-cut (or shaped) pasta that Funke is famous for exceeded the hype that proceeded my meal.
My last notable restaurant on my 2019 LA trip was a restaurant I’d first learned of on The Chef show. Chef Daniele Uditi is passionate about pizza and Pizzana is serving up delicious pies. It was a simply delicious way to end my 2019 visit to LA.
The Places I visited this trip to LA