05 Aug Nuevo Rancho Cuisine at Sausal El Segundo
El Segundo is the small beach community just south of LAX. I accidentally ended up there once when I missed a turn off of Sepulveda on the way to the airport. But recently I made a point of going there to check out Sausal, a restaurant featuring Nuevo Rancho cuisine. In fact, I hopped off a flight to LAX and was there in less than ten minutes.
Sausal is named after Rancho Sausal Redondo, the vast farmstead that once encompassed El Segundo and most of the South Bay. It offers a modern take on rancho-inspired cuisine with an emphasis on wood-fired, slow-roasted cooking. This Nuevo Rancho cuisine melds the bold flavors of Mexican cuisine with the essential flavors of citrus, olives and figs that were brought by the Spanish missionaries and with the fresh California vegetables and produce.
At the head of the restaurant is Chef Anne Conness, who has worked for Michael Cimarusti at Water Grill, Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton at Campanile, Mako Tanaka at Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois on Main and Alex Scrimgeour at Saddlepeak Lodge and ALEX.
If there is guacamole on a menu, then it will always be ordered. The guacamole is chunky with freshly made chips.
While devouring the guacamole, I took a break to taste through the Salsa Trinity which includes spicy red-brick arbol, cool cilantro tomatillo, sweet & spicy habanero.
For drinks, there are about a dozen beers available, a wine list dominant with South American wines and a few cocktails. The Fresh Strawberry Margarita (El Jimador Reposado, Triple, Muddled Driscol Strawberries, Fresh Citrus, Simple, Salt) is a relatively strong drink. The strawberries are very fresh but the tequila was definitely dominant.
The Getaway Car (Bourbon & Pisco Sour, Egg Whites, Lime, Velvet Falernum, Chartreuse, Bitters) has lovely savory and citrus notes.
Oxtail Picadillo Empanadas – The spiced meat pies are in a flaky buttery crust and served with tomatillo sauce.
The Beef Brisket Barbacoa is sweet and tender with charred tomato salsa, radishes and scallions.
Pork Chili Verde with Sweet Corn Elote comes with monterey jack cheese, chipotle cream, fancy pico de gallo, lime & house blue corn tortillas with butter.
The Smoked Pork Tamale Pie is rich and full of flavor. The pork is long-simmered in deep dark black mole sauce. Add jack cheese, pico de gallo and green onions and it is complete dish.
After filling up on all of the savory dishes, the Raspberry Rhubarb Gazpacho with Yogurt Panna Cotta was the perfect dessert. It is light, refreshing and is more tart than sweet. Despite how full I was, I could have eaten two servings of this dessert.
If you are heading home from LAX or spending time in the south Bay, make a pit stop at Sausal, I know I will.
Happy Hour is offered from 3pm – 6pm on Monday – Thursday.
Sausal El Segundo
219 Main St
El Segundo, CA 90245