I finally made it today.
I must agree with others, I actually wish portions were smaller here, the chicken confit was massive. Thankfully the tonka rhubarb was smaller and lighter as a dessert.
I was hoping they would have that baby romaine dish, but they did not sadly.
For some reason I went for the chicken confit. It turned out to be perhaps a less stellar choice than I imagined, but at least it had lettuce. The charred lettuce was by far the best part of the dish although sot of odd to eat since they don’t have knives. Still, it was stunningly good, yields a lush vegetal explosion of flavor. The chicken confit was…odd… Parts were a touch dry, some parts were ok and yielded a pungent schamltz flavor that was pleasant enough. There were sieved potatoes, perfumes sprigs of some foraged herb, intensely funky sheep cheese snow, tart yogurt, bright peppercorns, fresh roasted hazelnuts… The components are bizarre on their own, but combine into something sort of vaguely Nordic and comforting. If you can get everything into a single bite it makes sense but it’s virtually impossible to manage to do that for more than maybe 5 bites due to the portions, layout of the dish, and impossibility of cutting up the whole lettuce leaves.
Weird feeling. It’s totally unique; can’t think of anywhere else in LA you can eat a dish with this flavor profile. The veggies are exemplary, foraged and presented with the care of a 3 Michelin star spot. But then the proportions and dish layout sort of ruin the experience. I would have been happier with 5 bites only in a properly controlled dish. It was also weird to feel like the protein was neglected when it is obvious the kitchen can execute other elements with such finesse and care… They could charge me the same amount of money and I would’ve had a better experience. Extremely mixed feelings on this dish, perhaps it is the worst thing on the menu? Maybe it was better when it was cabbage and burnt onion?
Second what Tonka, Almonds, Rhubarb, and Skyr. This was a far better dish, much more appropriate in size. Basically tonka foam encasing chunks of stewed rhubarb with finely grated almonds and a dish of frozen Skyr. There should have been a larger Skyr disc, but it was sublime. Thick, tart and immensely creamy when it exploded with an icy creamy splendor in your mouth. The tonka foam was quite light and sort of evocative of vanilla without being cloying. The rhubarb was a touch sour a bit sweet, tangy and chewy. With lightly crunchy almonds there was a masterpiece of textural weaving and light flavors balancing each other in this simple dish. Every dish here should be this size in my opinion. Turning things like this into massive lunch bowls doesn’t seem to work as well to me.
Parking was super easy but I went late. None of the designers here were Bohemian, all upper class. Extremely hipster-y, plenty of beards to go around. I agree that if this place is trying to pretend to serve anyone other than the wealthy elite of the world it’s disingenuous, but hopefully that’s not the major selling point. The wealthy employees of the design firms, movie studios, and tech giants all tucked into this neighborhood do have a literal hunger for food like what Kahn is preparing. The couple next to me were bang banging after lunch at Sushi Tsujita and discussing traveling the world.
Also, one thing I fee a little odd about was that the girl taking orders pretty obviously had a cold… I don’t want to be unempathetic, but can they not afford to pay her to stay home for a day or two? When you have to hand a card over isn’t she de facto getting a bunch of people sick?.. It felt weird that a restaurant so seemingly obsessed with foraging ingredients doesn’t care about their kitchen environment or their employees well being more… If you’re going to have an ethos of caring for a community, maybe start with yourself??
Incredibly odd experience. I feel I will almost certainly return because of the glimmers of brilliance and the uniqueness of the place. To me $27 for dishes like this mostly felt like underpaying; I didn’t feel ripped off or anything, but at the same time it’s not perfect, but it seems like it COULD be. I guess perhaps the juxtaposition of obsessive perfectionism and seeming recklessness is part of the charm?
As a Baroo comparison, I would say that portions are farmers appropriate at Baroo. However, flavors for certain things are more pronounced at Destroyer. I need to return to Baroo, maybe tomorrow, to refresh my memory though.