SIV drops a deuce on newcomer Pizzeria il Fico, the Italian concept on Robertson opened by chef Nicola Mastronardi, chef Giuseppe Gentile, and FOH John Tierney. Although the restaurant has been rather quiet at night, she predicts that once Angelenos discover the "enticing pizza," crowds will follow:
Il Fico turns out truly thin-crusted pizza from the wood-burning oven from Naples. This is not about crazy inventive toppings. Most pies are traditional and contemporary classics. There's the regular Margherita, albeit seasoned with oregano instead of basil, but also "La Campana" made with luscious cherry tomatoes, bufala mozzarella and sweet basil, both worthy contenders. And another that adds anchovies and capers, which I like very much, especially when I get a bite of salt-cured anchovy filet. Your pie comes out freckled with black spots on the bottom, the cheese gently wheezing and dotted around the surface instead of covering it in an impenetrable blanket. The tomato sauce is loose and fragrant. Impeccable.SIV is generally pleased with the restaurant, although the wine list could use some work. She concludes by calling Il Fico "a gift." [LAT]
Jonathan Gold reconsiders Night + Market: "...you will find nearly every part of the pig portioned out into a kind of Thai equivalent to tapas, a unit of consumption carefully calibrated to the refreshment inherent in a single bottle of Singha. There is grilled pork collar, the Isaan favorite, which Yenbamroong calls 'toro' in honor of its extreme richness; and house-fermented sour sausage with peanuts, lime and raw bird peppers; and pig's ear fried with garlic and chile sauce. Pork belly? Of course, flavored with fish sauce; sweet, fried ribs with garlic; and a huge pork hock braised in soy. The fried pig tails are as hard to leave alone as popcorn — an 8-year-old of my acquaintance paused only briefly when he was informed that they weren't spareribs." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: e*star LA tries Ray's, gastronomy visits Shin-Sen-Gumi, kevinEats at Piccolo, OCR checks out The Corner, Midtown Lunch talks about Naan Hut, Thirsty in LA drinks at 1886, and The Amateur Gourmet loves Pa-Ord.