Slaughterhouse to table restaurant Belcampo Santa Monica gets the Rodell review this week. Belcampo raises livestock on farms in Northern California, and slaughters, transports, and sells the meat itself. The restaurant, then, "has one aim: to showcase the meat that Belcampo Meat Co. produces." And showcase the meat it does:
There are quite a few dishes that are basically cuts of cow (or sheep or goat) arranged artfully over greens, or over a piece of bread, or just on a plate. The beef heart comes sliced, sitting atop mizuna with some roasted peppers and a light salsa verde. Those things that come under the slices of heart are delicious, but they're utterly secondary to the meat itself, which is like a steak but with deeper, darker flavor, one that underscores the seriousness of the organ from which it was cut. [LAW]
While B. Rod laments the omission of seafood from the menu, she is thrilled with the simplicity of the meat dishes, and imagines "you'll never want to go back to the cheap, mass-produced stuff again." Belcampo walks away with three stars.
This month, Patric Kuh reviews the newest restaurant by the duo behind the now shuttered Hatfield's, Odys + Penelope. While "fire is at the core" of Quinn and Karen Hatfield's modern churrasco with an exceptional sirloin cap and pork belly, the vegetables are not to be overlooked:
As meaty as all this might sound, Quinn, who's had market menus and vegetarian menus in every iteration of his restaurants, kind of soars with plants. An oregano- and parsley-laced chimichurri emphasizes the pristinely fresh pea tendrils and pods. A finishing spoonful of walnut-tarragon pesto cuts through a creamy bowl of shaved cauliflower and millet. For the Farmer's Dozen, he tosses mint leaves into roasted whole carrots, radish, and toasted pepitas. While the Persian garlic sauce seems light on garlic, the lacy batter on the maitake and oyster mushrooms doesn't need the help. More impressive are the onion rings that come with the sirloin cap. Plumped up for 12 hours in ice water, they stay firm after being dredged in flour and fried. A final hit of paprika, sugar, and salt sends them over the edge, delivering serious pleasure with what seems a simple garnish. [LAM]
The LA Magazine critic also praises Karen Hatfield's desserts built with "wonderful simplicity," notably the pavlova and chocolate pie. Odys + Penelope lands three stars.
The Elsewhere: Gastronomy Blog enjoys handmade tortilla burritos at La Azteca Tortilleria in Boyle Heights, kevinEats finds hits and misses at Ox & Son, and Food GPS reveals this week's secret dish at Picca.