This week, Jonathan Gold reviews Everson Royce Bar, the Arts District’s year-old bar with a wonderful list of natural wines and rare booze — that also happens to have food by Matt Molina, a James Beard award-winning chef who once helmed the kitchen of Osteria Mozza.
The Goldster describes the chef as "more or less serving regular bar snacks, done honestly and well but using readily available ingredients and store-bought bread." Those bar snacks are done especially well though, with a menu that is "the equivalent of a band like Metallica doing a covers set just because it can." That translates into some pretty exceptional steamed buns:
You have probably seen hundreds of steamed buns with pork belly by now, but Molina’s version is in its way as good as the David Chang version that brought the dish into the mainstream, roasted slabs of pig slicked with bean sauce and tucked into steamed buns, crisp and meaty, rich but not fatty, with a saltiness almost surgically precise. [LAT]
And oh boy, those buttery biscuits:
And there are his buttermilk biscuits, which may seem a bit out of place. Bar food is supposed to be salty and greasy. Biscuits are a bit of wholesomeness mediating between fried eggs and blueberry jam. But Molina’s biscuits are excellent: tall, crisp and just a little tart, separating into a series of steamy, crunchy-edged leaves like a biscuit form of puff pastry. I’m guessing they are a variant on Silverton’s recipe, which is to say that they are expertly folded and mathematically precise, and are made with about four times as much butter per measure of flour than the ones in "Joy of Cooking." [LAT]
Ultimately, J. Gold concludes that ERB makes for a mighty fine place to enjoy some bar snacks, drinks, and patio time.