This week, Jonathan Gold shares his thoughts on Le Comptoir, the ten-seat counter from Gary Menes in Koreatown's Hotel Normandie. Menes, a French Laundry alum, offers his "austere California French cooking" by way of a $69 vegetable-centric tasting menu. While "most of the dishes can be swapped out for things like foie gras, ricotta ravioli with truffles, buttery lobster or an ultra-rich Japanese Wagyu beef, [...] the luxury add-ons are rarely as delicious as the vegetable dishes they supersede," like the artfully plated vegetable and fruit plate:
And so, when it comes time for what Menes calls the vegetable and fruit plate, lightly inspired by the gargouillou of Michel Bras in Laguiole, which involves probably 20 different elements, each cooked separately and assembled at the last moment with long tweezers, you should probably will yourself to become as excited as a 3-year-old at a building site as you watch the assemblage of fennel, squashes, asparagus, carrot, apple, persimmon, cauliflower, turnip, zucchini, watermelon radish, red pepper, yellow pepper, broccoli, halved grapes and some other things gradually come into being, steamed, pickled and/or sautéed. It's pretty cool, what the Gladys Avenue Farm can do. [LAT]
The Elsewhere: Bill Esparza runs down a list of four tacos that aren't really tacos, Food GPS eats Charles Olalia's pork longganisa sausage at Downtown's RiceBar, and James Gordon finds the Indonesian street food martabak in LA.