Recently I’ve been quite uninspired in the kitchen which was evident by a week’s worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch last week. Luckily it was Restaurant Week here in Los Angeles so I wasn’t without good food for too many days in a row.
Restaurant Week is a food event sponsored by DineLA. Participating restaurants offer a three-course prix fixe menu allowing diners to try specialty (meaning expensive) restaurants at a fraction of the cost. This year I enjoyed two restaurants on the list.
First stop was A/O/C which is on 3rd Street, right near the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market on Fairfax and 3rd.
My friend Mike and I ordered some wine while we perused our menu choices.
The dishes are served more in a tapas style at A/O/C, and therefore we each ordered a different first and second course so we could share. Other than “the dishes are served as they’re ready” philosophy (meaning your companion’s salad may arrive 10 minutes before yours or the side dishes come out 5 minutes before or after your main dish) the food was REALLY good.
Mike ordered a lovely apple/buttermilk dressing salad while I ordered the pear/endive/hazelnut/St. Agur blue cheese.
For our second course we ordered pork chops with chorizo and sofrito and also grilled chicken with escarole sitting on a bed of parmesan pudding. The parmesan pudding was to die for, and it took every ounce of restraint not to pick up the plate and lick it clean.
Our side dishes included fingerling potatoes with
crème fraîche and also farro and black rice with pine nuts and currants. Both had amazing flavors.
We both decided to order the chocolate-peanut butter brownie with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream. Nom nom nom!
This weekend the restaurant of choice was Campanile located on La Brea. I have been dying to dine here so my expectations were high.
Campanile is housed in a 1929 office structure that was originally built for Charlie Chaplin. The restoration is amazing. It is a very beautiful restaurant.
This time a couple of Morettis were enjoyed while deciding on the menu.
The first course…ricotta gnocchi on a bed of lettuce with pine nuts, currants and olives. Oh my, this was so good! (Clearly the lighting here was better for photographs)
The second course…roast pork loin with Swiss chard and pureed sweet potatoes, also delicious.
The final course…pear cobbler with ginger ice cream. What a great combination!
Campanile did not disappoint and I am looking forward to going back there again.
What a fun event! I look forward to the next one. Hopefully these amazing meals will inspire me to cook some of my own at home.