This week, Jonathan Gold took the week off after re-launching his annual 101 Best Restaurants List. In the meantime, Besha Rodell at the LA Weekly was still at work, awarding three stars to Roy Choi's POT at the Line Hotel. Rodell is generally impressed by Choi's effort in Koreatown:
You might have noticed that both those dishes aren't really Korean at all but rather nods to other cuisines that are part of the cultural soup Choi has been marinating in all these years. But there's certainly a lot of Korean food to be had here. The "rooster sauce" is basically a spicy, chicken version of jjigae, the fiery Korean stew, its molten red broth imbued with chicken fat and funk. The "steam room" lines up slices of cold pork belly and steamed tofu, divided by mounds of fragrant kimchi...More from Rodell and the unique place where POT lies in Koreatown:
There are plenty of people who are genuinely uncomfortable diving headlong into Koreatown. Hip as it has become, the neighborhood can feel impenetrable to outsiders. As if there weren't already enough puns in this venture, Choi has made POT the gateway drug of Korean restaurants, a place where the curious can experience blood and intestine stew without having to traverse any cultural barriers, imagined or real.
Rodell actually has the highest praise for pastry chef Marian Mar, whose Ritz cracker candy bar is a must order in the lobby cafe. The last word: "POT is one of the clearest examples of our culinary landscape's most exciting modern development: the children of immigrants stepping up and telling their own story, one that hasn't been part of the conversation until recently."
Brad Johnson of the Los Angeles Register gives a quick hit on Fifty Seven, the new Beau Laughlin restaurant in the Arts District currently helmed by David Nayfeld, but will eventually be taken over by Josh Drew. On Nayfeld's cooking:
His flavors are subtle and nuanced. My meal here begins with delicate gougères straight from the oven; the bite-sized Gruyere cheese puffs crumble and sigh with a puff of fragrant steam. Two small but perfectly seared scallops are paired with feathered fennel and a demure bite or two of wild rice. Veal liver is coaxed into a mousse so light that could almost be mistaken for foie gras. A petite filet of halibut luxuriates in a bath of lemon-thyme butter with three spring peas and some sort of little white flower buds. Delicious.Johnson's not as fond of the music program, complaining that the band starts rocking the place at high volume, compelling some diners who were enjoying desserts and coffee to leave.
The Elsewhere: Darin Dines hits smoke.oil.salt., Refined Palate loves Maude, FoodGPS tries the carrot risotto at Fundamental LA, Oh Hei There goes to Night+Market Song, Gourmet Pigs tries the Kaisen seafood menu at Chaya Downtown, and KevinEats finds Escala satisfying.
· All Week in Reviews Coverage [~ELA~]