We wrapped up the Asking Alexandria tour, flew home for a few days, then flew back out to L.A. for the Golden Gods awards show and performance. Ashley and I got in a night early and wanted to hit up some decent food. We stayed across the street from the Grammy Museum at a newly renovated hotel (it was a Days Inn or Best Western at the first USA Golden Gods… and man did it **** then – it was good now, but the name slips me). We were a short walk away from a “noun and noun” New American restaurant (and you know me and that New American), so we headed to Bar And Kitchen.
L.A…. I definitely had an off-perception of the city for years. I was convinced that L.A. was only for the air-headed, coked up, ex-child star actresses and rock-star-style-printed douche-bag clothing-wearing Jersey Shore extra-looking mother-effers who would find themselves at the end of the night puking up their jello-shots into the storm drains outside of The Rainbow. It may have taken me a couple trips outside of the area around “rock and roll” L.A. to see otherwise… but I tell ya – once I saw the light – it was blinding.
The people in L.A. are actually pretty damn nice. And they know their food and drinks. Real well. It seems with minimal effort, almost anywhere in the surrounding subsections of LaLa-land, you can find some seriously legit ethnic hole-in-the-wall spots and fancy spots alike; dive bars and proper classic cocktail bars exist symbiotically. Bar And Kitchen is something that would be more so a rarity in maybe a place like Ft. Wayne, but in L.A. – there are tons of New American spots that do it incredibly well. The Venice Beach area? The amount of great food out there is what convinced me finally that “yeah – I could live here.”
At B and K, I began with a Moonlighter (Islay Scotch, Blanc Vermouth, St. Germain and bitters) – a manly, deep-flavored cocktail. It was the initial opening flavor of citrusy/rind-bitters, and the finish of Scotch. It was like drinking Scotch without the all-intensive bite. We begun with a Beet Salad that consisted of shaved fennel, orange, goat cheese and a hazelnut vinaigrette. The mix of shaved fennel and orange is a combo I’ve recently become rather infatuated with. Fresh, summer-flavors with that almost vinegar-pickley flavor in the fennel and vinaigrette pairing – it reminded me of Polish pickle-flavors – I loved it.
Parmesan Truffle Tots? **** yes. Anything “tater tot” is a must for me. Perfect. My main was Shrimp and Grits done with a Spanish Chorizo ragout. Best Shrimp and Grits I’ve ever had. Hands down. The sauce that surrounded the grits… could be compared to Franks Hot Sauce with a slight vinegary-base maybe? And I mean that in the holy-fricking-shit-this-rocks sort of way. The Chorizo and Shrimp pairing reminded me of the seafood/sausage pairing you’d see in Portuguese food. Tangy, spicy, hearty – this thing had so much flavor bursting out of what would be perceived as such a simple dish. Really spot on.
Ashley had the Kurobata Pork Shank with Spatzle, brusels sprouts two-ways and a bourbon mustard sauce. You can’t see due to the dim lighting, but this thing belongs in Game Of Thrones, being eaten by a White Walker… it was medieval and massive. I tried to help finish it – but it was futile. Really fantastic regardless – but I was still gushing over my Shrimp and Grits that reminded me of Portugal and Franks.
It’s odd when I’m too full for desert – but I was. Oh well. More food the next day.