This week, Jonathan Gold quickly follows up his Jon & Vinny's review with a look at Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson's highly anticipated Middle Eastern stand in Grand Central Market, Madcapra. The duo comes by way of Brooklyn's well-regarded Glasserie, and brings its "impeccably on-trend, yet obscure" sensibilities to Los Angeles, "the new Brooklyn:"
So Madcapra is pretty Brooklyn, with water in cut-glass pitchers, yogurt drinks flavored with orange flowers and squirt bottles of the house-fermented hot sauce called zhoug. The broad, well-lighted counter seems almost purpose-built to enhance the Instagram photos that everybody around you will be taking. The chefs enjoy sprinkling everything with spices and seeds. [LAT]
And while the specialty here is falafel, the focus is more on the fresh herbs and pungent toppings that dress each za'atar-dusted flatbread:
The sandwiches, rolled up into dense tubes and wrapped in foil, approach the heft of Chipotle burritos. You can order them red, with tomatoes; green, with pickled cauliflower and fennel; or orange, with citrusy carrot salad and lots of dill. There was rainbow falafel during Pride Week. And if you've noticed that I have avoided mention of the falafel itself, you are correct. The spiced, ground chickpeas are cut into small cubes before they are fried into crisp gamblers' dice, and they assume basically the importance that the croutons do in a well-made Caesar salad: crucial to the composition, yet somehow tangential to its essence. Should you spend the extra couple of bucks and get your falafel as an actual salad? You may as well. [LAT]