05 Apr The Brightness and Levity of Spring
Stepping inside Spring restaurant in downtown Los Angeles can be breathtaking, especially the first time. Named after the street it is on, Spring Street, Spring is somewhat discreet from the outside. As you enter through the glass door, you will walk through a long white hall to the hostess stand. To your left will be a long white counter that is the perimeter of the large open kitchen.
And in front of you will be the stunning dining room.
Located in a 19th century architectural treasure, the Douglas Building was designed in 1898. The atrium of the building houses the restaurant, which is 6,000 square feet. The large open space is glass-roofed, allowing a lot of natural light to flow through the room during the day. In the center of the room is a stone fountain and a tree strung with tree lights.
The space is modern, simplistic and open and yet it is delicate, elegant and warm and no matter where you sit, you can see the open kitchen where the food is being prepared.
Spring is the creation of Michelin starred chef Tony Esnault and his wife and co-owner Yassmin Sarmadi, owner of Church & State. The menu, with a strong Mediterranean focus, is influenced by the South of France. The food is delicate, elegant and has a freshness about it. And the presentation of the food is artistic. Spring is a perfect destination for a lovely meal, whether romantic or with friends.
To begin, enjoy a glass of sparkling wine or a cocktail as you peruse the menu and select what you want to eat.
The menu, which is written in French, except for the descriptions of the dishes, is traditional and less about share plates. But the first section are starters that can be shared by the table.
HORS D’OEUVRES Á PARTAGER
Huitres Glacées du Jour – half dozen oysters, lemon, mignonette
Poisson Mariné – seasonal market crudo, cara cara orange, lime, avocado, celery, crostini
Tartare de Boeuf – grass fed strauss family farms beef, garlic, olives, tomato, celery, fennel
The other sections on the menu include pastas and vegetables, fish, meat, cheese and dessert.
PÂTE ET LÉGUMES
Pates au Civet de Lapin – strozzapretti pasta, red wine braised rabbit, bacon, mushrooms, fine herbs
POISSONS ET CRUSTACÉS
Fletan en Garbure – slowly cooked wild halibut, cannellini beans, cabbage, celeriac, carrot, basil, jus de cuisson
Cobia – loup de mer, lemon olive crust, fennel, taggiasca olives, scallions, riviera jus
VOLAILLES ET VIANDES
Magret de Canard – maple leaf duck breast, honey spiced skin, salsify, radish, turnip, huckleberries
Selle de chevreuil – venison filet, butternut squash, celeriac, beet, pear, sauce poivrade
WINE – The wine list at Spring is international in scope, with wines from France, Italy, California and more. The by-the-glass options are diverse so that you can select a few different wines to pair throughout dinner, should you not want to order a bottle.
Brie de Meaux with black winter truffle
Chocolat Monegasque – bittersweet chocolate ganache, lemon honey sorbet, citrus vinaigrette, chocolate crumble, praline
Pomme Verte – panna cotta, granny smith, tea crumble
Framboise et Mascarpone – joconde biscuit, mascarpone cream, granola tuile, raspberry sorbet
I was so mesmerized by the beauty of the concentric circles that I asked the pastry chef how he managed to get such perfect lines. The secret, he showed me, is that old record player that he uses to spin the plate while he applies the framboise.
I was enchanted by my meal at Spring. From the ambiance to the service to the exquisite flavors, I cannot wait to return for lunch or dinner.
257 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA