This week Jonathan Gold considers recent Studio City addition Girasol, the sunflower-designed restaurant cheffed by C.J. Jacobson. Food is a mixed batch and perhaps a bit over complicated, and Goldy decides that Girasol's strength lies in Jacobson's California-styled plates:
Girasol is that weird hybrid: a restaurant tame enough to host a baby shower brunch but advanced enough to offer at that brunch not just brioche French toast or ricotta pancakes with sautéed strawberries but also a vivid green grilled-octopus gazpacho garnished with pungent Vietnamese herbs, as well as steak and eggs with house-fermented local black walnuts that taste like spherical A.1. Steak Sauce with a crunch.
Jacobson's talent may lie less in expressing L.A.'s cultural diversity — his less-than-spicy all-mussel version of the ceviche aguachile is dull — than in layering the sunny fragrances of California onto what might seem to be straightforward New American cooking...In place of the aguachile go for Jacobson's take on the beet and goat cheese salad. [LAT]
B-Rod sings three star words of praise for Colonia Taco Lounge, a new tacos and beer haunt from former Guisados owner Ricardo Diaz: "Diaz is bringing together two factions that have long been destined to share an intimate relationship: very good tacos and very good beer ... Colonia might teach you a lot of things: the possibilities of cauliflower, how to fall head over heels in love with a flour tortilla, how to eat far too much and somehow still want more." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: kevinEats at Orsa & Winston, OverOverUnder also checks out Colonia Taco Lounge, The Offalo brunches at Gjelina, Darin Dines at The Church Key, Eat: Los Angeles hits Starry Kitchen, Gastronomy tries Mariscos Los Lechugas, e*star LA drinks at Crossroads, and Midtown Lunch visits Guerrilla Tacos.