Table Stakes: July
Five new places to get your nosh on this month
Because every Angeleno loves to eat, even if he has to valet, we bring you Table Stakes: a series that answers man’s eternally recurring question (“Uh, what’s new?”), and recurs once every lunar cycle or so. Bon appétit.
If staring down over the entire Los Angeles metro area from the 71st story of the tallest building in town sounds like fun, you’re in business: Chef Vartan Abgaryan’s is plating delicate, inventive flavors from the new “skylounge” at the U.S. Bank Tower. And if Abgaryan can rouse excitement from English peas, he can do the same for you.
Craft Shack is a beach shack full of local craft brews and greasy summer food from the Simmzy’s guys. Best thing on the menu: the Quesadilla Foldover, a tortilla filled with caramelized Oaxacan cheese and topped with seasonal veggies that you fold in half and shove in your cakehole.
LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold once told us that Caesar salad was our city’s signature dish. Tacos would probably have been our choice. Chicas, a new joint in Downtown, gives you the best of both worlds by topping beer-battered (and sustainably caught) fish tacos with fresh Caesar. It’s delicious. So are the salsas and cinnamon and watermelon fresca.
Downtown is not light on beer joints these days, but it now has a return-trips-necessary gastropub in Baldoria. Housed in Little Tokyo, the deep beer menu is accompanied by shareables like charred octopus pizza and a charred BLT wedge.
It’s great to see our city’s pre-war architectural history brought back to life, as Chef Curtis Stone has done with his new spot, Gwen. It’s part butcher shop, part gothic landmark, part restaurant roasting choice, premium cuts over a flame that’s visible from nearly every seat in the house.
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