This week, Besha Rodell checks out the often overlooked Ración, Pasadena's intimate Basque restaurant. Overall, B. Rod is attracted to its "forward-thinking creativity" that breaks away from the small plates epidemic that has oversaturated not only Spanish concepts, but seemingly every new restaurant in the city:
And so, although the room is utterly comfortable and on the edge of informal (in the best possible sense), there's nothing blasé about this food. Named Ración to distinguish it from the tapas craze, you won't find any simple boquerones here, nor will you be able to get a platter of paella. Instead, brilliant orange, citrus-cured salmon might lay draped across your plate nestled against a creamy, thick sauce based on ajo blanco, the white Spanish soup made with crushed almonds and garlic. The fish is dotted with local grapes and the glimmering jewel-like saline pop of trout roe. So clean yet so complex - like much of Montaño's work, it is stunning. [LAW]
The Elsewhere: E*Star LA runs down her Twenty-One Reasons to dineLA, The Offalo samples Chinese noodle soups outside of the SGV at Qin West Chinese cuisine, Eating L.A. reviews both Pot and Commissary, and Food GPS checks out the OC ramen scene at Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai.