Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Artisan House (Downtown LA): New Executive Chef, New Menu

Artisan House took over a large corner on Main St, with its market on one side and the restaurant and bar on the other. While I've walked through the market, I haven't heard much about the restaurant until I came in to try it myself.


Chef Maureen d'Ath (formerly of Cecconi's) recently took over the kitchen in this Mediterranean-slanted restaurant, with dishes like Roasted cauliflowers in turmeric, harissa, and pinenuts ($9)
More staple Mediterreanean appetizer: Couscous with raisins, currants, almonds, harissa ($10)
Yes, there are quite a few items with harissa, as expected of a Mediterranean restaurant, but I'm not complaining.

My favorite dish was the Chutney-stuffed, Prosciutto-wrapped quail, parsnip purée, endive, cranberry and walnut chutney ($18)
I loved the quail against the sweetness of the chutney.

There's a relatively small cocktail list but I was able to find a couple that looks good, like The Steam Punk (their Moscow Mule, and a good version, $12) and The Caulfield (gin, lavender syrup, lime, grapefruit, grapefruit peel, $10). The lavender aroma isn't too strong but definitely there in The Caulfield.
The Caulfield

The Steamed mussels in white wine, garlic, onion, parsley, tomatoes ($17) was not my favorite. I found the broth to be a bit weak, and the addition of tomatoes were interesting, but I'm not sure I liked them.

On the other hand, try the Tilapia en Papillote, rosemary, white wine, thyme, olive oil, Freesno chili ($26)
I tend to be wary with this type of fish preparation since I've had a dry overcooked one at another restaurant but this was very juicy and I love all the fragrant herbs.

Pork medallions, roasted apple, braised cabbage, hazelnuts ($24)
The pork was really tender, which I loved, though most of the flavor in the dish were from the apple and cabbage.

It was very rich, but I actually really liked the frozen pumpkin cheesecake w sweet corn ice cream
Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you want something lighter, then try Lychee "martini" (lychee sorbet with yuzu and violet liqueur)

Simple but very refreshing. The lychee sorbet was excellent.

Our waiter insisted that the chef bring us another dessert, which was the waiter's favorite. It was a spicy Mexican chocolate ice cream and I'm so glad he did this, because this may have been my favorite! It's got quite a kick but so good ...

Artisan House
600 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 622-6333
Artisan House on Urbanspoon
Disclosure: this meal was hosted.


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