This week Jonathan Gold hits up Baroo, which has been getting plenty of media love from the likes of LA Weekly and LA Magazine. Eater first discovered the oddball fermentation restaurant, only to have LA Times food editor Amy Scattergood write it up shortly afterwards with an on-the-scene report. And now, almost two months after discovery, the Goldster himself has spoken:
I have once seen a display like this — not in Copenhagen's Noma but in its Nordic Food Lab, confined to a houseboat moored a few yards outside the kitchen, as if its wild investigations into seaweeds, gorse and fermented sand crabs needed to be quarantined from the proper gastronomic activity in the restaurant....His intent is clear, and it includes handmade fettuccine with ribbons of shaved celery root, and mixed seaweeds with chiles and finger lime, but neither kale salad nor uni toast. He and his partner, Matthew Kim, sometimes seem surprised that he has customers at all.
And on that mold-derived dish called noorook:
Noorook tastes like nothing I have ever come across. But it does taste like the future. And whether the future it points to might be idyllic or dystopian, one of utopian bliss or one of nutrislime cultivated in jars when the radiation forces us all into underground caves, I am not prepared to say. But I do know that I like this noorook. I have ordered it every time I have been to Baroo. I recommend that you do the same.
Baroo might be strange, but it's also innovative and forward-thinking. The two-man show of Matthew Kim and chef Kwang Uh might be mobbed after this review, so tread carefully and try to go during off hours. Either way, it's a culinary experience that can only happen in Los Angeles right now.