Bestia - Needs Its Own Thread

Seems there is no dedicated Bestia thread on the forums, do we all eat there too often to report on it?

I guess maybe so!

This isn’t even a full report I guess, since I just stopped in for pasta and dessert (and drinks). I pre-gamed it with cocktails before going to a concert literally two blocks away, and then came back from some food. I forgot to shoot the cocktails, but let me tell you guys, the Low Profile they are making right now is the best cocktail I have ever had in my life, and I don’t normally like mezcal cocktails. I think I literally stop in at Bestia almost every other day to drink one…

So anyway, their newest pasta is very basic and hearty. A fusili with beef ragu, and veal katsuobushi. Now that is deceptively simple because I have no idea what veal katsuobushi is, or even might be. Katsuobushi is dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna… so I assume this was veal that was dried, fermented, and smoked? Pretty wild stuff. The tuna is usually in shavings, but it seems the veal version was a kind of pate that got mixed into the pasta, a sort of double-ragu feature that added a fermented, salty, but beef-y funk on top of the other beef-y heartiness of the ragu… really odd, yet completely delicious in a simple, direct way.

The other possibility is that the menu is sort of misprinted, and there is a veal pate + regular katuobushi shaved on top of the dish since in the photo the shavings look like normal katsuobushi. I am afraid I was too deep into cocktails and great wine to ask about details, I need to ask when I pop back in. The flavor effect was the same in either case, and the dish overall showcases the subtle, but phenomenal cooking that keeps Bestia flooded with celebrities (Phil Rosenthal was in the house along with a few others on this particular night haha). The pasta itself was just cooked so perfectly that it kind of make me want to kill the chef in the way that Johnny Depth’s character in Once Upon A Time in Mexico kills a chef that makes cochinita pibil really good.

The peanut brittle and banana ice cream bar that is new to the desserts is really nice. Kind of like a semifreddo in texture, heavy on the banana essence. The peanut cream on the side and the bruleed bananas were also lovely. Desserts are always fun and tasty at Bestia and not overwhelming =)

We are lucky to live in a city with Bestia and soon Evan Funke’s new project. That is all.

2 Likes

Hard to plumb the depths of Johnny.
Or that pasta - truly looks and sounds, great.
Try not to kill anyone @Aesthete: your meals (and posts) from prison will be disappointing.

1 Like

Had my first time at Bestia a couple weeks ago.

The cavatelli was the best pasta I’ve ever had. The bread was also fantastic; don’t regret paying money for it. It felt like a legitimate appetizer through sheer quality. Everything else was simply “very good”, but it was worth it for the life-changing pasta. Need to come back with a few more people so we can make a clean sweep of the appetizers and pastas.

1 Like

Start with a Low Profile, because it’s incredible:

Puttanesca: best version I’ve ever had.

Cut the salt, umami, and spice with some rose, perfect:

Skirt steak is meltingly tender and fatty, and supremely simple. The melange of carrots, cippolinis, potatoes, and fried sage tastes maybe even better than the steak though, mmmm.

Eat with a soft, smooth bussola to complement the steak:

End with a sour cherry jam tart and mascarpone ice cream; all of the best things about a cherry pop tart distilled into something “more”:

What a place.

2 Likes

Felt like playing some chess at Bestia, so headed over there again.

Sat on patio, so worse lighting. Missed the porterhouse though, but the tomahawk is a beautifully marinated piece of pork, way better than last time I had it.

Started with large salumi board. My friend liked it. Not bad. Best item is the lardo with date puree on their famous bread. But idk why this gets so much love to be honest. Not even close to Chi Spacca, which is my gold standard for salumi boards still. The pate with mustard quenelle was particularly bland, and we did not finish it.

Pork Tomahawk was incredible, and felt like a good value at $75. Pear was unnecessary though. Impeccably cooked pork, marinade might make it a touch salty for some, but I personally loved that. Fat, char, salinity, porcinit-y…mmmm

The accompanying polenta is insanely simple, but absolutely incredible:

Calamari and Octopus Salad was overly vinegar-y for my friend, but I liked it a lot. Tons of smoke and char from the octopus and calamari here, and lots of citrus, vinegar, and pepper from the greens. Really pleasant and HUGE portion for $18. Kind of crazy.

Finished up with desserts. I’ve never ordered the chocolate budino tart despite it being on the menu since day one. It’s very nice. I was glad the crust is quite delicate, not overly heavy. Sea salt and olive oil really evened out the mass of chocolate. Very pleasant.

The classic Coffee and Donuts is always fucking amazing. Hot donut holes in thick cream, with silky smooth coffee ice cream, just extraordinary.

We drank an awesome bottle of Lambrusco with everything, but forgot to photograph it haha

Cooking mostly keeps getting better and better as Bestia focuses on distilling cooking into an intense simplicity that actually captures the essence of Italian cooking in many wonderful ways, and they’re just about one of the only places you can go eat like this after 10 pm on a weekday.

Ah…what a joyous place.

4 Likes

I forgot to post… but last Saturday I was at Bestia again (so that’s a streak of going every other day since last Saturday for me lol)

I just drank several Low Profiles and had Clams and Mussels in Nduja and Preserved Meyer Lemon Broth. God damn is that a great way to spend a night. They give you an absurd amount of clams (at least 30 by my count), plus a ton of gigantic mussels. All somehow perfectly cooked in a meat-y, spicy, earthy, citrus-y broth that is totally sublime with a generous portion of their beautifully grilled bread.

Taken with the creamy joys of the Low Profiles…just complete bliss. I finished with some very berry-forward aromatic dessert wine but forgot to snap it… it was a long day of drinking and eating, but it goes to show the variety of experience one can have at Bestia. Such a wonderful, wonderful place.

2 Likes

QPR on that clams and mussels dish is outrageous.

is bestia (still?) a tough reservation for those of us who keep,
um, older people’s hours?
like, say, to eat between 7 and 8:30, how far ahead would you
have to call for a reservation?
or are you just never going to get a table at that time if you name doesn’t
rhyme with flanye trieste?

is there a bar i and the long suffering (insert label here) can park our asses
at and eat at a decent hour?

thanks.

@linus,

The last 3 times I tried reserving for Bestia, it still is ridiculous to get a table at the times you specify, at least for weekends. Maybe some of those prime spots are being sold via those reservation apps (which is ridiculous), but regardless, I don’t think the “busyness” / long waits match the quality of the food.

3 months. Not kidding. I love the place (obviously), but even I don’t really get that, a 3 month wait time makes no sense. If I kept regular hours I’d just go to Hatchet Hall. Like 75% of the reason I go to Bestia is it’s fairly late hours throughout the week. I have never made a reservation to eat there. It seems too weird to me… I can’t even really grok what makes it that obscenely popular. The food is great, but the food is great at other places that don’t have 3 month waits. I am guessing it’s because so many celebrities dine there now, so tons of people are willing to wait it out for a chance of sitting next to them or something.

Yeah, but the bar gets reserved too most of the time, or fills up.

You can always take your chances.

You can walk in at 5:30-6 and eat there with some ease.

It seems like 95% of people in LA eat between 7 and 8:30 though, so that’s a waiting game.

Indeed.

I actually usually feel pretty good about pricing of food at Bestia oddly enough. Maybe the only thing I didn’t get completely was the $45 for skirt steak, but it was really incredible skirt steak.

I felt like this was a copycat not as well done version of chi SPACCA’s pork tomahawk. The chi SPACCA version seemed like a better deal at $90 since it was a larger portion and higher quality meat.

When was the last time you ate it at Bestia?

Last time I had it was a while ago (a year at least?), and it was horrible.

Decided to take another chance. Seems like they worked out a lot of kinks, and sourced better pork.

Hardly anything compares to the Chi Spacca chop, but for me it had a noticeable drop in cooking quality from when Colby was personally cooking them. Probably undiscernable to most, but can’t get over it personally. I recall being surprised at the dryness in a lot of spots last time I had it like a couple months ago (friend’s family went and invited me, did not bother taking photos because didn’t feel appropriate).

The value of a place serving food like this past 10 pm is also extremely high to me, so people’s mileage may vary there lol

However, either someone is lying, or plates/lighting are highly deceptive, because supposedly the Bestia chop is 40oz, and the Chi Spacca one is 42oz. The Chi Spacca chop feels a touch larger, but not that much so.

The fennel pollen rub does remain a true gem of a recipe that probably still gives the Chi Spacca chop an edge, but then again I really enjoy the polenta at Bestia with their pork.

Hmm, idk, there a year ago I had a completely different opinion, but a lot has changed since then it feels like to me.

Didn’t notice a drop a few months ago. Even when Colby was there he wasn’t always personally doing the pork chops. That was often delegated to one of the line cooks.

Will be back to Chi SPACCA in a couple of weeks for a wine dinner. $25 a bottle corkage without limit.

Edited: called back to double check corkage and it is now $30 with a 2 bottle max so we cancelled our reservations.

I probably just got lucky more often than I had any right to. I think literally every time I ate the tomahawk in the initial phase of the restaurant I watched him personally cook mine.

I was going to the place well before they become super popular I think. I have a weird set of reference memories unfortunately for me.

Maybe I just have to ask them to cook it more rare next time. I can’t shake the awkwardness of having to do that there though for some reason.

Surely there are many cheaper places where you can go to open a ton of bottles of wine if that is the focus of the night? Or is $25 as low as it gets?

They used to give you free corkage on a bottle if you bought a bottle of theirs. I remember one dinner we bought a bottle and then opened two large bottles of sour beer for free there. Ah what times.

thanks for the info.

three months? fuck them.

lol, yeah.

If you really just want the food, you could always Postmates them I believe haha

But the scene, bro.

i like looking at pretty people whilst i make a pig of myself.

i don’t like having to plan where i go out to eat in my own town three months
in advance.