Sunday, April 13, 2014

DTLA's Hot Spot: Faith and Flower

The huge space that was Towne in the WaterMarke Tower has turned into one of the hottest restaurants in Los Angeles. Faith & Flower is the newest project from David Bernahl and Rob Weakley (LA Food and Wine, 1833), and Stephane Bombet (formerly a partner of Picca and all of Ricardo Zarate's restaurants). Faith & Flower's kitchen is headed by Executive Chef Michael Hung whom they had recruited from San Francisco who has previously worked with Traci des Jardins.

The interior is one of the most impressive in LA as well. An eye-catching chandelier greets you as you walk into their beautiful spacious dining room. The sleek bar to the left is decorated with a mural from street artist Robert Vargas.
I love how the menu is inserted into a gorgeous bound book.
The content of the book is mostly gibberish but look through it to find some gems (like a quote from Louis C.K.)

For appetizers, don't miss the New York Steak Tartare, uni cream, kombu seaweed, black sesame ($14)
The combination of two of my favorite foods, beef tartare and uni, was amazing and brought together well by the crispy rice chips.

People were raving about the sea urchin toast, but alas, I couldn't have it that night. The chef had sent back the uni he got because he wasn't happy with the quality. I'm glad he has high standards though, I'll just have to return for the uni toast. Instead, I tried the Dungeness Crab Toast with jicama, pickled sea beans, green goddess aioli ($15)
Crab Toast

Deviled Jidori eggs, Korean chili, kimchi ($5)

The sous chef Michelle Minori hailed from San Francisco's Flour+Water, so there's bound to be some great pasta and pizza here. My favorite dish of the night was the Oxtail agnolotti, bone marrow butter, tangerine salsa, beef tendon chicharrones ($17)
Oxtail Agnolotti
The pasta alone was excellent, as you might expect from a Flour+Water alum, but the rest of the dish really elevates it. Both the rich bone marrow butter to the gelatinous beef tendon may seem like overkill, but the sweetness and the light acidity of the tangerine plays it off very well.

If you want more pasta (I know I always do), try the Organic egg noodles, Berkshire pork and miso bolognese, daikon radish, ginger ($16)
Egg Noodles

The pizza crust here is also excellent. I love the fun Eggs Benedict Pizza, smoked bacon, spinach, Hollandaise sauce ($16)
I think this actually may be better than regular eggs benedict ...

Do not miss the cocktails here!
A must try is the English Milk Punch (recipe from the 1862 book "How To Mix Drinks"): Smith & Cross, Appleton, and Bacardi 8 rums, Bulleit bourbon, Batavia Arrack, Pernod absinthe, pineapple, sencha tea, which then undergoes a milk clarification process that takes 3 days.

Because of the long processing, there are only 15 of these available every night and you better get one. It's one of the best cocktails I've had recently and I just can't get it out of my mind.

Olvera (Nuestra Soledad mezcal, Cherry Heering, Zirbenz stone pine liqueur, Royal Combier, F&F orange bitters, Lapsang Souchong vapor - $14)
It wasn't entirely my intention to keep ordering the cocktails with a tea component, but I do love tea and I love my smoky cocktails.

Rib eye steak, grilled over mesquite, served in a vermouth and oyster jus (shown here is the 24oz for $59)
The medium rare steak was so tender ... and oysters with steak? Oh, yes.

Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, grilled over mesquite, with country ham gravy ($23)
Unlike many other bacon-wrapped items out there, the focus here is still on the tenderloin and not overwhelmed by the bacon.
Crisped skin on the potatoes
Execute Chef Michael Hung
To end the meal, order some absinthe with a side of entertainment. David Bernahl's other restaurant in Monterey, 1833, is famous for their absinthe cart, and they'll be bringing it here as well. Before the cart arrives, you can still get absinthe, served Russian style, then poured over Root Beer. The way it is served is quite a spectacle, just watch:

I didn't have a single bad dish at Faith and Flower. There are so many things to try, but alas, my stomach could only fit so much ... I'll just have to come back and perhaps finally try that uni toast! And that English Milk Punch will be a must every time it's available.

Faith & Flower
705 W 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 239-0642
Faith & Flower on Urbanspoon


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