25 Jun Auburn LA – An Exceptional Addition to the LA Restaurant Scene
Auburn LA is one of the newest additions to the Los Angeles restaurant scene, and it is set to be one of the best. Located on Melrose Avenue, across the street from Mozza and Chi Spacca, Auburn LA has made its home in the space that was once home to Meson G, Citrus and Hatfield’s.
Completely revamped, the space looks nothing like its predecessors. Auburn LA is a clean open space with lots of sunlight streaming in from the skylights. The decor is simple with neutral-toned walls, white oak, light-colored furniture and indoor greenery. Auburn LA is a 105-seat restaurant, broken into several different spaces. Upon entering the restaurant, there is a bar and seating area.
The open kitchen is where you can see Chef Eric Bost and his team diligently at work. There are a few tables that share the room with the kitchen.
Just beyond the kitchen, separated by glass windows, is the semi-enclosed patio. This is the main dining area and yet the tables are so well-spaced that you really feel like you can enjoy dinner with your companions and not be distracted or interrupted by other diners.
Auburn LA has a casual formality to it. The servers come from the kitchen carrying the dishes on trays and move seamlessly through the open space. While the decor seems minimal, every little touch has been accounted for, including the off-white tablecloths that cling to the oak tables with hidden magnets.
The attention to detail carries through the the menu. Chef Eric Bost, who previously worked at Republique, Guy Savoy and Alain Ducasse, approaches each dish by highlighting ingredients and building the flavors by layering them. The menu is based on a multi-course format in which the guest creates his/her own experience. The menu has twelve dishes on it, including three desserts. Guests can select a four-course ($75), six-course ($105) or nine-course ($150) menu and then select the allotted number of dishes from the twelve.
Proceeding the selected menus, we were served three amuse bouche.
Crispy, crunch, savory and delicious Crispy Pork Skin
Buckwheat Galette with country ham
Caramelized Onion Tartlets topped with fresh greens and flowers
Our palates were buzzing but before the first course came out, we were served Bread with Avocado Butter. The sourdough bread was served hot and was spongy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The avocado herb butter was delicate and light and sheer decadence. I was already so impressed and yet our meal had only just begun.
As a party of three, we decided to each do the four-course menu which enabled us to order one of everything on the menu. While the dishes are not meant to be shared, I managed to taste each dish on the menu.
Hiramasa Crudo with citrus fern, celery, purple radish and mulberries was a harmonious dish of sweet and savory with fresh acidity.
Santa Barbara Box Crab sat in a light yet concentrated tomato seed broth and seaweed-lemon granite and nasturium are on top of the crab.
Seasonal White Asparagus was served with porchini mushrooms, trotter and spruce. The dish is rich and creamy and yet not heavy. For an addition $40, osetra caviar can be added to this dish.
Channel Islands Black Cod was served in a tangy sauce of its bones smoked over embers, brown butter and watercress.
The Morel Mushrooms with kusshi oysters and la ratte potatoes may not have been the most photogenic dish but this is a dish full of rich umami flavors.
A vegetable dish, Cabbage was served with charred leeks, onion essence and alpine cheese.
A Bowl Full of Cherries was a bowl of tender koji-aged liberty duck, mustard greens, black garlic and of course, cherries.
The 30 Day Dry Aged Rib Eye has a $15 supplement. Served with smoked beets and vidalia onions orach, the rib eye was perfectly cooked and so tender. A cup of rich oxtail broth was served on the side.
Melted over sunchoke, seeds & flowers, Epoisse is the star of this dish.
Strawberry and Milk was the favorite dessert. Creamy yet delicate, it reminded me of strawberry milk and just melted in the mouth.
Rose looked like a sponge cake but it was more like aerated frozen ice cream. The rose was perfectly balanced and did not overwhelm the dish, as rose can tend to do. Each bite just melted in the mouth as quickly as it entered the mouth.
Yogurt with mushroom caramel demonstrated the preciseness in the kitchen. This dessert was more savory than sweet and yet a completely satisfying way to end a meal.
To pair with the dishes, Wine Director Rick Arline has designed a wine list that is eclectic yet accessible.
There are classic producers (Pegau, Lopez de Heredia, Heitz, Musar), up-and-coming producers (Louis-Antoine Luyt, Le Grappin), and modern classics (Pax, A Tribute to Grace). Guests can order wines by-the-glass or by the bottle, or guests can do a wine pairing and let Rick pair wines with the selected dishes.
Each dish on the menu is thoughtful, artistic and precise. Each bite offers layers of flavors. My dining companion called our meal at Auburn LA an exploration in culinary paradise. Auburn LA is definitely an exceptional addition to the LA restaurant scene.
6703 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA.