Monday, January 6, 2020

Bar Avalon Brings Cozy Wine Bar and Dinner Spot to Echo Park

Echo Park got a new wine bar back in October with Bar Avalon, which came by way of Revelator Coffee. This intimate spot offers interesting wines and a small but solid dinner menu.

The wines here are listed by order of latitude and the list offers both old world and new world wines. The sommelier is always on hand to tell you about their more interesting offerings like Unti Segromigno from Dry Creek Valley.

The menu is divided into four sections including small plates, little bites like deviled eggs, and bigger entrees. We tried the Plancha Blue prawns, n'duja, preserved lemons ($14). Can never go wrong with blue prawns!
Bar Avalon

Pork Rillette ($14) from the "tasty bits" section
Bar Avalon

Friday, January 3, 2020

Taco Omakase at Bee Taqueria (West Adams, Los Angeles)

West Adams seems to be the upcoming food hot spot, and Bee Taqueria is certainly adding to that reputation. Bee Taqueria is opened by chef Alex Carrasco, who has worked at places like Scratch Bar, Osteria Mozza, etc. It's not a fine dining place, but rather a colorful tin shack with outdoor seating only.
Bee Taqueria
That doesn't mean the food is low-brow. While Bee Taqueria has a casual a la carte taco menu, Carrasco also offers a taco omakase by reservation only, and it's one worth trying. There's a table of four in the corner that's set aside for the omakase.

We started with taco placero (market taco). For this one Carrasco uses a white heirloom corn tortilla and tops it with roasted pork belly, tomatillo salsa, and herbs including papalo and chives.
Bee Taqueria

Next: squid ink tortilla topped with quesillo, huitlacoche, black truffles, bottarga, and tomato.
Bee Taqueria
A great combination for someone (like me) who loves the black fungi like huitlacoche and truffles!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Konnyaku Tasting at INN ANN (Japan House LA)

INN ANN was the Japanese restaurant run by Japan House at Hollywood and Highland with acclaimed sushi chef Mori Onodera. INN ANN closed on December 31 to be reconfigured into a culinary incubator of sorts, so that reminded me to catch up on my posts ... A while back (because I'm so behind) I attended a special lunch featuring konjac or konnyaku.

Konnyaku is a chewy "cake" made from konjac yam. It has a texture like gelatin and has made a name in the Western world for being a zero-calorie food. The lunch gathered three chefs from the LA area to showcase the different ways konnyaku can be prepared.

We started with a Konjac and mushroom shabu shabu from INN ANN's chef Mori Onodera.
Konjac at Japan House
We started with the shabu shabu to showcase the konnyaku in its pure form.
Konjac at Japan House
Next up: "Spring tidal pool" with uni and coastal herbs from Joseph Geiskopf (he was at Triniti at the time) with konnyaku and vegetables.
Konjac at Japan House
This was a beautiful bowl, both in appearance and taste. The broth was flavorful yet clean.

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