Monday, January 19, 2015

Preview: Dine LA Menu at Loteria Grill

by: guest blogger @iam_robot

Ever since Jimmy Shaw opened the first Loteria Grill in 2002, it immediately became one of the most sought after fine Mexican eateries. Not only the food packs bold flavors and fresh ingredients, Shaw’s cooking technique makes you feel as if you were bequeathed with home-cooked feasts. Incorporating long-cooked stews with contrasting flavors of herb or chilies, Shaw is never afraid to offer specialties we rarely see. While the Lengua De Res En Salsa Verde – Braised Beef Tongue in Tomatillo Sauce – has a certain luscious beefiness, the Pollo En Pipian Rojo – Chicken Stewed in spicy pumpkin seed and Chile Guajillo Sauce – is a cohesive dish with interchanging flavors of savory and heat. Or if you’re a thrill seeker, try their Cochinita Pibil – citrus marinated pork slowly roasted in banana leaf- and wash it down with their vast display of Margarita selections.

Last Thursday I had the chance to taste of some of their current Dine LA offerings. Dinner starts out light with offerings such as Crema de Chicarron (Cream of Pork Rind Soup) or Ensalada de Flor de Jamaica (Spinach salad with Grapefruit and highly addictive Hibiscus Vinaigrettte).  But if you’re like me and have a bottomless hunger, you should start with a heady dish like Tostaditas de Atun 2 ways – 2 Mini Tostadas of Tuna Ceviche with Salsa Negra and Pepper Salsa.

Crema de Chicarron

Ensalada de Flor de Jamaica

Tostaditas de Atun 2 ways

Moving on to the second course, you can pick items based on your preferred protein. For the meatatarian, they have Costillas de Res en Salsa de Chile Pasilla – Braised Beef Short Ribs in a Chile Pasilla Sauce – while the pescatarians could enjoy Sea Bass Tinkin Xilk – Sea Bass steamed in Parchment, Achiote & Citrus Adobo. 

I thought the goat cheese tamales served with the Sea Bass was superb – the corn masa was savory enough to be the perfect counterpoint of the creamy goat cheese. Surprisingly, my favorite second dish is actually the vegetarian offering – Nopal Asado con Queso Panela Tostado en Salsa de Chile Pasilla – Grilled Cactus Paddle with toasted Panela Cheese. 

The cactus was served soft but not soggy while the Panela Cheese added a pleasant saltiness to the party.

Finally, dinner closes out with refined traditional desserts. They have Flan de Guayaba – Guava Flan served with Orange Caramel and very refreshing mini berries ice pop – or Churros con Salsa de Chocolate y Cajeta – Churros with Chocolate and Goat Milk Caramel dipping sauces. 

Flan de Guayaba

All in all, desserts are delicious yet subtle and unique.

Dine LA’s Restaurant Week starts today, January 19 and goes until February 1, 2015. Lunch is $20 per person. Dinner is $40 per person.
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