Eating Out: Allumette

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!

First Course:

PRAWNS with Pasilla Chile, Guanciale and Almonds 

2nd Course:

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.

OR

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.

3rd Course:

OCTOPUS CONFIT with Sweet Garlic, Burnt Cabbage and Mustard

OR

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

OR

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

OR

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.

Allumette
1320 Echo Park Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 935-8787

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