Sunday, August 26, 2012

Industriel Urban Farm Cuisine (Downtown LA)

This new restaurant in downtown LA has a rather confusing tagline: "urban farm cuisine"? It doesn't prevent them from being completely packed during Dine LA Restaurant Week though. The tagline is supposed to embody the fact that they're in downtown but uses local farm-fresh ingredients (though many other downtown restaurants do these days, without the tagline).

The decor is for the most part stark and minimalistic, but they have this cute installation of this "chandelier" made of honey bear jars over a bathtub!

The menu was divided into different price levels: $11, $14, and $19 (and a couple of "market price" options). The restaurant's website says they serve Provencal French cuisine, but there were only a few Provencal specialties on the menu (like bouillabaise and barigoule) and many other influences from Italian to Russian.
We started with a Crispy soft poached egg, speck, asparagus, mustard truffle dressing ($14)

The crispy poached egg was nice, though I wished the dish had an earthier, bolder flavor component. I also thought this should've been in the $11 section.

Quinoa, roasted mushrooms, pecan, kale, caramelized shallot vinaigrette ($11)

I enjoyed this healthy and savory dish, especially with the generous amount of roasted mushrooms. LA OC Foodie thought it would've been better if it was served hot, though I was fine with it since it was a warm night.

The cocktails are $12 each. I tried the Mexi-Cal: Ilegal Mezcal Jovin, kumquats, ginger, jalapeno, orange juice, habanero sugar rim. It was too spicy for me, we both preferred the cocktail LA OC Foodie ordered, Ria's Downfall: Industriel barrel aged whiskey, black plum shrub, fresh lemon juice.
We moved on to wines with our main courses, and they had a pretty good selection.

Skull and Bones: bone marrow, tongue and cheek marmalade, grilled baguette ($14)
I thought this was a really fun dish, with everything that I loved! The tongue meat was especially tender, and of course we had to do our very first bone luge! Industriel has a pretty interesting whiskey selection, and we did our bone luge with TAP 357, a Canadian maple rye.

"Goachetta", chevre gnocchi, rapini, mint, olives, red pepper sugo ($19)
Goachetta? It's like porchetta, with goat. It wasn't too gamey in my opinion and can be a good entry to goat for those who don't normally eat it, but then again I like my goat. My favorite part of this dish was the gnocchi.

Pelmini, rabbit, shiitake, mascarpone, pearl onion, sage, truffle oil, pecorino ($19)
Pelmini (or pelmeni) are Siberian stuffed dumplings. The dish was creamy but not too heavy and the rabbit meat was very good.

For dessert I wanted the Peach and apricot crisp, toasted almond streusel, creme fraiche ice cream, raspberry sauce ($8)
I like a lot of crust in my cobbler/crisp/crumbles and I wanted more of that in here. The creme fraiche ice cream was a fun touch but the raspberry sauce made it too sweet for my taste, so I left it on the side.

Double espresso pot au creme, hazelnut shortbread, whipped cream ($8)
The espresso pot au creme was good, especially with the hazelnuts, but I could've done without the whipped cream - I thought it diluted the flavor (but I never did like whipped cream on my desserts).

Name and tagline aside, the food that we tried was pretty good though a couple dishes could use some small tweaks. The price scheme reminded me of XIV when they first opened and I'm not sure how I feel about that. Some dishes are a good value for that price section, but some do not seem to be - why not just price each dish individually? Either way it's another fun addition to this part of downtown LA (bone marrow, tongue and cheek!) and I think it will continue to be busy, not just for Dine LA week.

Industriel: Urban Farm Cuisine
609 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Industriel on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: this meal was hosted


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