I've had many good meals, but every once in a while, one stands out above the rest. This was my experience at The Factory Kitchen, which opened up in downtown LA recently. I didn't know much about it before, so I was quite surprised, but I really should've heard more. The chef, Angelo Auriana, was the executive chef at Valentino for 18 years before moving to Farina in San Francisco. The manager, Matteo Ferdinandi, was a business partner of Celestino Drago. Both of them are the epitome of Italian hospitality.
Because of the name, I was expecting a small restaurant, but the large dining room is simple but elegant.
Bacanora is a rare find in the US, and I love how he used it in this cocktail.
I ordered the Soon To Be Divorced (tequila, campari, lime, agave, thyme - $10). I've never had tequila and campari together, but this was very drinkable with the lovely thyme aroma. Other than these seasonal drinks, Karl has a short list of classics as well.
For the wines, Francine Diamond Ferdinandi, who's worked at Gramercy Tavern and Spago, has created a small but impressive wine list. We left it to her to choose our wines and so should you.
Be sure to get the Prosciutto, which came in an unexpected form. 24 months Parma prosciutto is served atop a lightly fried sage dough, with some stracciatella in the middle ($18)
Barberosse Gratinate: oven baked sliced beet casserole with melted Asiago ($10)
Rather than pizza, The Factory Kitchen serves Focaccina calda di recco al formaggio, a thin focaccio crust. We liked both the traditional (with Ligurian olive oil) and Cotto (crescenza, cotto ham, rosemary - $17)
Now, the pasta. Handmade pasta is one of my favorite things in the world and there's one pasta dish here that blows the rest away. It is the Mandilli de Seta (handkerchief pasta, Ligurian almond basil pesto, fiore sardo - $19)
Pappardelle (taggia olives speckled pasta, duckling ragu, Italian parsley - $19)
Porchetta (rolled pork belly, red onion, carrots, fennel celery - $24)
Anatra (duck breast, huckleberry, romanesco, broccoli di cicco - $26)
If you want something lighter, the dentice (pan seared tai snapper) is perfectly prepared.
I had to try one more drink. The Backyard Boogie (Templeton rye, root, fennel, absinthe mist, orange oil - $10) is perfect for those who prefer stronger, more aromatic cocktails.
|Chef Angelo Auriana|
The Factory Kitchen
1300 Factory Place #101
Los Angeles, CA 90013