Talking about Bazaar and José Andrés on @MelB5luv’s thread made me think about a little jaunt I took in search of Chicken Croquettes during my favorite DoTM… Chicken.
Spanish food has had a curiously tenuous existence in L.A. I really like going to La Paella but was curious how a place like this has survived all these years while newer, interesting, sometimes tastier places have come and gone. I also wanted to see how it compared food-wise to its glamorous Spanish neighbor inside the SLS Hotel.
Whad’ ya’ know? My neighborhood homie, @Nemroz, already started a thread.
When you step inside La Paella it’s like stepping into the restaurant scene of an old European movie - lace curtains, tchotchkes, artificial flowers, waiters who seem like they come with the place. It’s quaint and charmingly kitschy with a side of quirk…
Ahhh… a place that still uses tablecloths. No wonder our ears weren’t ringing.
Bread, Aioli, Tapenade
Croquetas de Pollo aka Chicken Croquettes!
Crispy, creamy, lite chicken-y goodness.
Paella de Mar y Montaña (of sea and mountains (land))
I forgot you have to ask them for the crunchy, crispy bottom (socarrat) and blew it on this visit. One can only imagine how much more depth of flavor and ingredients there is in a Spanish, Spanish paella. But never having been to Spain I don’t know what I’m missing. This one does me good.
I did make my own once (sorta’) at a Thomas Keller Ad Hoc Cookbook cooking class …
It’s where I learned to make aioli by hand. It’s also where I found out there are others besides me who have cookbooks on their bedside table.
Surprisingly delicious, creamy, nice cocoa flavor, thick, not stiff or chalky. Better than the one we had recently at Petite Trois
. They try to give their mousse more of a dark chocolate profile, but I think they over do it.
Well… this is interesting trivia…
Homegirl has come a long way from seeking a waitressing job at La Paella
Not having a lot of options for paella in L.A. we naturally gravitate towards it on the menu at a place called La Paella. But tapas, hors d’oeuvres, canapés, pu-pu (a rose by any other name) are my favorite way to eat, so next time we’ll do the spread.
We usually have their individual bottles of cava, like they have on airplanes. Any nice wine suggestions?
S San Vicente Bl
Near Beverly Center
The Research Continues…
Tres by José Andrés
I think Bazaar is the kind place to go with someone special, but I can’t get mine excited about this one. So, I happened to be shopping at TJs on San Vicente & Burton Way and on the spur of the moment decided to hop over to the more casual Tres by José Andrés to continue my research. It’s a pretty spot and I sat at the high-top outside of the chic little bar. Keep in mind I still had chicken, in particular, chicken croquettes on the brain…
Croquetas de Pollo (chicken croquettes) - made with organic, farm-raised chicken and béchamel served w/brava sauce & aioli.
These were fine.
Chicken Dumpling Soup - broth, potato, daikon, pasta.
Very lovely and very enjoyable.
Tres by José Andrés
SLS Hotel / La Cienega
Near Beverly Center
It was a tasty jaunt, but I didn’t have enough dishes to fairly compare the food at both restaurants. And I didn’t come to a definitive conclusion as to why Spanish restaurants in general don’t stick or why La Paella has endured. There’s comfort in tradition. It’s convivial and the food is good and they’re obviously experienced restaurant people, yes. But it’s more likely that they have a solid base of regulars, European & Latin American transplants, Angelenos who grew up eating similar food and those of us who simply enjoy the food - combine that with proximity to Cedars and the medical offices and you have a built-in clientele. Im glad. I’d be really sad to see them go.
Anyhoo… Happy Chicken, Spanish Tapas & Paella Trails!
P.S. @MelB5luv, I too think José Andrés is doing great things for folks around the world and right here in California. His World Central Kitchen was on our list of 2018 donations.