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Archive for December, 2012

Plat du Jour, December 5, 2012: Los Angeles and Plate Sharing

Having written about Los Angeles dining for a few years during the pop-up restaurant and food truck boom, it was great to visit the sprawling freeway-filled metropolis recently and  see what the latest fads are in the continually changing city. Often in these parts, what is in vogue at 8 am is no longer what is most trendy by 8 pm. Pop-ups and food trucks certainly have burst their bubbles, though Kogi is still going strong and Ludo Lefebvre will soon be launching his 10th edition of LudoBites.

A few notes struck me most about concepts I had only briefly touched on before and were heavily emphasized while visiting new spots across the city and re-visiting a few perennial favorites. There were some great discoveries– an other worldly pain au chocolat from the tiny Proof Bakery in Atwater Village, to basic public knowledge– hey, did anybody know that the pizzas and butterscotch budino are terrific at Pizzeria Mozza?(!)

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Waterloo & City’s Wild Boar Terrine and Charcuterie

Interestingly, what struck me most in Los Angeles was the theme of an editorial,“Famished: Mine, All Mine” by Sara Deseran of San Francisco Magazine.

Deseran is tired of “pass-the-plate” style dining. In Los Angeles, that form of dining is heavily emphasized, encouraged, and often, necessary. (more…)


Tuesday’s Project: Duck à l’Orange

Duck à l’orange, je vous adore. I admit to eating it year round, though it really is a dish to be emphasized during the autumn game season, when the crisp winds start biting.

Duck needs a good fruit forward, sweeter sauce. It’s just one of those perfect pairings that clicks. Sample duck breasts, we’re not talking duck confit here, with other partners, but the dance just isn’t as compelling without that fruit, be it cherries, citrus, plums, apples, figs, persimmons, or whatever.

In the end, those experts who created haute cuisine years ago knew what they were doing. Then again, you’ll also find overlaps of haute cuisine with bistro cuisine’s greatest hits. Duck with a fruit sauce can always be found in both universes, at three starred Alain Ducasse or the tiny corner bistro Chez Jacques that isn’t known outside of its arrondissement.

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Duck truly soars to its finest when paired with an orange-based sauce, à l’orange. (more…)