This week Jonathan Gold heads to the perpetually packed Barrel & Ashes, the Texas-style barbecue restaurant helmed by former French Laundry chef de cuisine Tim Hollingsworth. While the juxtaposition of working-class cuisine and a three Michelin starred chef seems discordant, Gold explains that for barbecue "the gradations of technique are almost infinite, easily as complex as anything French cuisine might require." The LA Times critic embraces the restaurant, finding pleasure in the buttery hoe cake and brisket:
While space, fire regulations and the watchful eye of the Air Quality Management District may mean that the ancient pits of Lockhart are impossible to duplicate in Los Angeles, Hollingsworth so far seems like a scholar of the craft, running certified Angus briskets through the smoker until they emerge tar-black and crusty, yet juicy and approaching that magic point between chewiness and tenderness that is so difficult to reach. The crackly skinned hot links from Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana are terrific. I find the spareribs too soft under their bark, and the slab of pork short ribs, made from Heritage Berkshire pork, is a little flabby, but that brisket, the hardest cut to master, is genuinely good. [LAT]
The Elsewhere: Joshua Lurie runs down the best steak frites in LA, Gourmet Pigs jet sets with Petrossian LAX, and Eddie Lin explains the ten things you should know before dining at Hai Di Lao Hot Pot.