Friday, April 8, 2011

Food Happenings LA and then some

 My trip to LA consisted of eating again, not surprisingly. Being the selfless being that I am, one must share some hidden gems and not so hidden ones.

Sung Ha Jang, a duck lover's hedonistic realm where the duck comes many ways. The only Korean bbq in LA that serves slices of flavorful bird frying in its own fat. As you can well imagine, the duck fat never ceases to flow.
The bubbling puddle of fat is then used to make a cloyingly rich fried rice with kimchi, leeks and spices.

Tip #1: Ask server to spoon out excess oil before adding rice
Tip #2: Be kind enough not to bring parents with high cholesterol or pacemakers

Sun Ha Jang
4032 W. Olympic Boulevard.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 634-9292

Playa, made its debut recently with a bang and lives up to its hype. To be pronounced [plah’-yah] and not mistaken for the word "player", which I learned the hard way whilst on a Playa Del Carmen excursion.

The Grail - 12 year apple brandy, malbec, pressed lady apple, Don’s mix, cane cola, apple espuma, dehydrated apple chip

                                  Tortillas Florales - maize cakes with organic flower petals, indian butter
Start the meal off with these perfectly made tortillas. The gritty texture of freshly ground corn flour still steaming from the cast iron skillet pairs flawlessly with the silky guacamole Indian butter.

                      Maize Cake Breakfast  - 63° egg, pan-seared potato, truffle cheese espuma, market mushrooms
Egg, truffle, and cheese....need I say more?

Tamalli Chipotle  - wild-mushroom duxelles dumpling, filet mignon, chipotle béarnaise
This glorified tamale with tender cuts of charred filet oozing out of its husk is not to be missed.

            Arroz con Pato  - duck confit, baby vegetable pickles, arroz blanco jus, fresno chiles, chives, micro cilantro
Probably the best preparation of duck confit. No knife is needed as the meat falls apart with the nudge of a fork and the skin is baked to crispy perfection.

                                        Chiles Gueros Rellenos - tempura chiles, crab, corn, soy, ginger, scallion
I don't mean to wax poetic of Playa's dishes, but God, every dish is a hit. This tempura style chile can put any izakaya to shame with its light and airy batter.

                                                   7360 Beverly Boulevard
                                                Los Angeles  (323) 933-5300

My LA trip ended with a pit stop at Tartine. The Lemon Meringue Cake, with its meringue either torched or baked to a slight char will make even the most finicky mouths smile.

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