Birthdays are always a great excuse to eat out. When I was a child, I always picked the same restaurant each year but as an adult, I love to try new places and this year’s birthday was no exception.
Gathering a group of my foodie friends, we decided to go to Allumette in Echo Park. Located across the street from a supermarket, this fine dining restaurant is rather unassuming. But, despite the location and the minimal decor, Chef Miles Thompson is serving food that is anything but unassuming.
Before we delved into the food, we started with drinks. The bar program at Allumette is lead by Serena Herrick, formerly of Harvard and Stone, who has created an original drink menu using local, artisanal products.
High Desert Priestess (Amontillado Sherry, Salers, Apple Cider, Solera Maple Vinegar, Anthem Hops Cider) – this was a great drink to start with as it was dry and tart and really awakened the palate
Poire Little Rich Boy (Cap Rock Gin, Pear Brandy, Toasted Pepper, Celery) – the sweetness of the pear brandy contrasted with the flat watery taste of the celery but could have used a little more of a kick
Khaleesa (Capurro Pisco, Cheremoya, Chareau Aloe Liquer, Cacao, Lemon, Agave)
Last Ango (Angostura Bitters, Smith & Cross Navy Strength Rum, Orgeat, Pineapple Gomme, Fresh Lime)
Strega Genesis (Strega, Dolin Dry, Fennel, Cardamom, Lime, Lemon)
Old Fashioned Al Funghi (Templeton Rye, Porcini Kombu Demerara, Angustura Bitters)
The day before we went, Allumette changed their menu to only a prix fixe tasting menu with the option to order four courses for $45 or five courses for $60. We opted for the 5 course menu. Each course has two options to chose from and between 4 of us, we were able to try both options for most courses.
Before the first course, we were served Grilled Crostini with Potato Mascarpone Butter. Whether is was butter, potatoes or cheese, it was delicious and creamy!
PRAWNS with Pasilla Chile, Guanciale and Almonds
SLOW-ROASTED CARROT SALAD with Winter Pear, Sunflower and Quince Vinegar, this was one of the most vibrant and colorful salads with a mix of textures and flavors ranging from sweet to tart.
GNOCCHETTI with Wood Pigeon Ragu, Ubriacone and Crouton – the fresh pasta was complimented by the richness of the ubriacone cheese and the crunchiness of the croutons.
OCTOPUS CONFIT with Sweet Garlic, Burnt Cabbage and Mustard
FRIED GREEN TOMATO with Soft Egg, Pea Tendrils and Black Vinegar
Intermezzo: Fairy Squid with cilantro flower, yuzu. So delicate and fresh and tiny
4th Course: BRANZINO with Shellfish Tapioca, Fried Broccoli and Lemon
FLAT IRON STEAK with Kiwi, Pumpkin Seed Oil and Pink Pepper
5th Course: DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE with Green Tea Meringue, Chicory Crisp and Brioche Cream
JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE PANNA COTTA with Dulce de Leche, Huckleberry Marshmallow and Pepitas
The only complaint we had on this particular night was the pacing of each dish. While we appreciated the slow pace so that we could enjoy ourselves, the wait in between each dish was too long (20-25 minutes). But, this was a nominal issue as the flavors of each dish won out. I definitely won’t wait for a particular occasion to return to Allumette as the tasting menu prices ($45 and $60) are quite reasonable.
1320 Echo Park Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026