The stars aligned in a trio this week for BierBeisl, Bernhard Mairinger's classy-casual Austrian hide-out in downtown Beverly Hills. For the LA Weekly's second star-rated review of the year, Ms. Rodell raves about Chef Mairinger's restaurant much like SIV did in the Los Angeles Times last year.
Take an appetizer of sweetbreads with salsify and melted leeks. In this offal-obsessed era, it could be on so many menus, and succeed, too. But Mairinger is operating at a higher level. Each element is cooked to its ideal, and he has added the exact right amount of acid and fat. There's no oiliness, no sense that this was thrown together. It is meticulous, and catch-your-breath delicious.
Further, Rodell loves the wine list, charcuterie, pumpkin soup, and desserts:
Also falling into the straight sexy category are the desserts, particularly the kaiserschmarrn. Something like an eggy, crispy pancake/bread pudding hybrid, it comes with a tart plum compote — and it's what I want to eat for breakfast every day.
Though she thinks the restaurant could benefit from a serious front-of-house manager, Rodell is overall smitten with the chef and menu at BierBeisl. [LAW]
Over on the gritty side of town, our beloved Jonathan Gold goes beastly at Bestia in this weekend's Los Angeles Times. He's impressed with Ori Menashe's new place (in partnership with Bill Chait), and in particular, how the chef knows when to say when.
What we're tasting, then, is a new, anti-California cuisine, Italian cooking that willfully turns its back on the lessons taught by Wolfgang Puck, Mark Peel and Celestino Drago, among others, food whose flavors are neither amplified nor perfected but are simply presented as themselves. You may think the cassoeula — or the simply grilled orata, Italian sea bass, stuffed with boiled broccoli rabe; or the chunky cavatelli pasta tossed with chopped black truffles, sausage and cheese — are rather bland. I think they may be among the most purely Italian dishes I have ever tasted in Los Angeles. [LAT]