Notes from L.A.: The Meat Palace
February 27, 2014
See that innocent looking little dome in the right hand corner of the plate? It might be the most delicious thing I've ever eaten, 'njuda, a soft little pile of pleasure that has the texture of pudding and the bite of spicy salami. Piled onto grilled bread, it's just one of the joys of eating at this palace of meat.
There is also this,
a platter of Chef Chad Colby's cured meats. Colby's obsession with cured meats is famous in the food world, and from his very fine salami to the culatello to that little hockey puck of boned, fried trotter, it's all wonderful stuff. The glass jar? That, of course, is nothing but deliciously whipped lardo.
Then on to the main events…..
The "tomahawk" is a huge hunk of pork (42 ounces, to be exact), easily enough to feed four. What I like best is the way the kitchen coddles the bones. After slicing off fat trenchers of meat they dust the bones with fennel pollan and spices and give them another blast of heat. What you end up with is the crustiest, richest, most delicious bone I've ever gnawed on.
There's also this,
A triple rack of tender veal that's been rubbed with porcini powder and roasted to a turn. You could also choose huge slabs of gorgeously aged beef or bone marrow pie so rich it cold probably feed a family for a week.
Dessert? There's this tiramisu, soaked in enough booze to make you reconsider driving yourself home.
But if you want my advice, you'll turn the meal on its head and end with the focaccia di Recco. Meant to be eaten at the beginning of the meal, this crisp, savory cheese-filled tart seems to me the perfect way to end. The ethereal concoction is a fine counterpoint to all that meat; it's so light it seems to simply float right off the plate.
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