ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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February 2020

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Dining!

Abernethy’s

Abernethy's Little Gem Salad and Cauliflower (Photos Paige Petrone)

Abernethy’s

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photos By Paige Petrone

Whenever I am going downtown to theater, the big question is where shall we dine.   The answer is clearly Abernethy’s, the new restaurant on the plaza at the Music Center.  The concept here is unique —  a new chef takes charge of the kitchen every three to four months reflecting the cultural diversity of the city.  It’s ideal as diners get to explore an ever-changing culinary experience.

I was thrilled to see one of my favorite inventive LA chefs, Jason Fullilove was ‘in residence’ at Abernethy’s.  His modern soul food – with strong global influences – is always delicious with a touch of the unexpected and our meal did not disappoint. You’ll want to taste everything on the menu that’s really designed to share so I recommend you order a variety off the menu so everyone gets to enjoy. Plates are brought out as they are ready which only adds to relaxed style. Who could resist cornbread with jalapeno and black truffle caviar?  Fullilove’s Shrimp and Grits are a must. The Little Gem Salad went perfectly with the Pulled Pork Agnolotti accented with creamed corn and curried pumpkin.  The roast chicken just melts in your mouth.  And don’t miss the bacon-braised collard greens.  There’s plenty on the menu for vegetarians: braised black eyed peas, acorn squash rice porridge and curry cauliflower. Be sure to end your meal with the ‘salted’ caramel cake.

Abernethy’s is located at The Music Center in downtown L.A.

SOCALO

Socalo’s Smoky Roasted Cauliflower

SOCALO

  • By ALLISON STARCHER

Reunited and it feels so good! Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken are back in Santa Monica. Just as the name Socalo suggests, the menu is their signature Mexican – inspired California cuisine with a Zócalo or “town square” vibe. Situated on the ground floor of the Gateway Hotel, the staff is friendly and the food is inventive pub fare, fashioned from seasonal, ethically sourced, local ingredients. These women may be famous award-winning pioneers in the culinary world but on the busy night we dined at their newest creation the owner/chefs visited each table, chatting amiably with authentic enthusiasm. It’s clear they love feeding people good food!

We started our meal with the “El Picante,” a Cazadores Blanca cocktail. Its spicy, smokey kick paired beautifully with the special Salmon Kumquat Ponzu Poke and the Citrus Chicories Salad. While I thoroughly enjoyed the mini surf ‘n turf Vampiro Steak and Shrimp Tacos, for me it was the vegan Jackfruit Tinga that embodied Socalo’s mission and complex flavor profiles. A succulent dollop of jackfruit and roasted poblano sat on an earthy, organic, blue corn tortilla topped with the perfect balance of accompaniments — pink pickled onions, fresh radishes, crispy battered jalapeños, a sprinkling of fried kale, and creamy avocado and tomatillo salsa. Highly recommended! Be sure to try the smoky roasted cauliflower, this is another must-have. Go.

Socalo is located at 1920 Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica.

Cosa Buona

Cosa Buona’s Barbecue Chicken Pizze

Cosa Buona

  • By Kymberly Chase

Pizza. Pizza. Delicious Pizza! Make your way to the corner of Sunset and Alvarado if you want what is, in my opinion, one of the best pizzas on the east side. I’ve passed by many times and have been intrigued. Finally made a reservation and headed on over to what is now my favorite pizza place in town! Cosa Buona is quaint, with just the right blend of cute and classy. You always know a restaurant is good when it’s filled with people who appear to be having a great time. I’m so glad I finally stopped in with a friend to try it out. We enjoyed genuinely friendly service … and the pizza … ah-mazing!

The pepperoni is top notch — thick, slightly spicy, and chewy. Quality cheese with thin crust and slightly burnt edges, just how I like it! And if you’re fan of delicious mozzarella, you must try the mozzarella sticks! Even the broccolini was incredible, pan-seared with spicy fish sauce that was beyond pleasing to my palate. Whatever you do, save room for dessert! A giant slice of chocolate pie, made in-house, might just be the most glorious cake in existence. Decadent, yet light and fluffy with delicious cream and chocolate! Yummm … I will be going back very soon!

Cosa Buona is located at 2100 Sunset Boulevard in LA.

The Factory Kitchen

The Factory Kitchen signature menu items

The Factory Kitchen

  • By Kymberly Chase

A contender for best pasta in town, this bustling Italian culinary gem in a funky, concrete-laden warehouse in DTLA’s industrial Arts District brings the “wow factor” for sure! Owner Matteo Ferdinandi and executive Chef Angelo Auriana’s Factory Kitchen has been around since 2013.

The pasta is exceptional — and so is everything else! A must have is the focaccina calda di recco. To say that the flatbread is the best thing is not meant to lessen the rest of the fare. It’s just that it is damned good flatbread! There are a few versions offered, but the tradizionale with crescenza pooled in the middle and a splash of olive oil is all you need to appreciate it. We ripped it apart with our hands and devoured it as the dough immediately melted in our mouths.

A fan favorite (and also one of mine) is the mandilli di seta — probably the picture you see most often — wide handkerchief pasta enveloped in an almond verde pesto. I love pesto, and this is always a delicious treat made with almonds and noodles served perfectly al dente. The pasta is brilliant in its simplicity and totally delicious. This is a lively, intimate, neighborhood spot with a casual atmosphere and Italian food you’ll obsess over. I love this place!

The Factory Kitchen is located at 1300 Factory Place in downtown LA.

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