31 Dec Ditmas LA: Serving a Niche and Beyond
As dietary restrictions become more and more mainstream, new restaurants have been opening to cater to these groups. In Los Angeles, vegan restaurants that serve contemporary cuisine and appeal even to meat eaters have been opening right and left (Crossroads, Gracias Madre, Sun Organic Cafe, The Gardarene Swine). So it only makes sense that Kosher restaurants would do the same.
“For those who want to keep kosher and teach their children to be kosher, they can’t go to Marstro’s or Bestia,” Chef Alex Reznik explained. With a need for something contemporary in the kosher community, Chef Reznik opened Ditmas Kitchen & Cocktail on Pico Blvd, near Robertson Blvd, in the heart of the Orthodox community and kosher restaurants.
Chef Reznik named the restaurant Ditmas after the street that his grandma lived on in Brooklyn, NY. At Ditmas, he has created a restaurant that appeals to families and friends alike with a casual as well as a more formal side. When you walk into the restaurant, to the left is the casual bar area with warm wood tables, a bar, tv screens and a long communal table running down the center. To the right of the room is a more formal dining area with white linen tablecloths.
There is a full wine and beer list (all kosher, of course) and a cocktail menu. We tasted almost all of the cocktails on the menu and of the bunch, the Macho Borracha (Casamigos tequila, fresh lime, farm fresh mint, agave, grapefruit spritz), Trafficking (Chivas 12 year blended scotch whiskey, saffron, pineapple, farm fresh mint) and 6th Borough (Vodka, blood orange, muddled Fresno chili’s and a prosecco float) were the most balanced drinks.
Ditmas is open for both lunch and dinner. For either meal, start off with Maple Glazed Chickpeas, a completely additive snack that is a bit sweet.
If you go for lunch, try the BBQ Beef Brisket with red cabbage slaw and cilantro coulis on a sesame roll. The roll is grilled but still soft and the brisket has sweet notes.
We also liked the McKosher for lunch. With two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, sweet onions, pickles, pretzel bun, you might start singing the old McDonald’s song, minus the cheese.
At dinner, we were blown away by the lamb bacon (yes, bacon!) that can be found in the Persimmon & Endive Salad (with lamb bacon, arugula, cashews, fig balsamic). Well-seasoned and perfectly crispy, now non-pork eaters can appreciate the beauty of bacon.
Another great dish is the Yellowfin poke with avocado, pickled fresno, pearl onion and anchovy. The combination of flavors from pickled to spicy to creamy make this a refreshing dish.
As Ditmas calls itself a Chophouse, we tried the Cote de Boeuf which is a double bone-in-ribeye. Presented as a whole, it is then taken back to the kitchen, cut up and served with spinach, big meaty trumpet mushrooms and crispy onion rings.
A few other dishes we enjoyed were the New York Pretzel with mustard and kosher salt and Mini corn beef tongue sandwich which was served with butternut squash soup, sunflower seed, radish and tofu crema.
For dessert, we got a sampler platter by Pastry Chef Jeannine Nava. Chef Nava has worked in Las Vegas at RMC Food, Comme Ca, Jaleo and STK. But, working in a non-dairy kosher restaurant is a great challenge that has her playing with ingredients like coconut oil to replace butter. Of the desserts, my favorite was the chocolate souffle with marshmallow whip, as I am sucker for hot dark chocolate.
With no pork, shellfish or dairy, Ditmas proves that a limited menu does not have to be limiting and is serving contemporary American food just that happens to be kosher.
Ditmas Kitchen & Cocktails
8731 W. Pico Blvd.