Good Food KCRW: UMAMIcatessen.
I love this podcast and listen to it religiously every week. You can listen to it live every Saturday at 11 am on FM 89.9 or simply download it as a podcast. The host, Evan Kleiman, discusses social, political, cultural, environmental, and many other issues impacting food in Southern California. Every week she brings in the Pulitzer Prize winning food critic, Jonathan Gold, for a restaurant suggestion. This week his restaurant suggestion was the newly opened UMAMIcatessen in Downtown, Los Angeles. I went there yesterday and ate everything he talked about.
UMAMIcatessen is a joint venture by Adam Fleishman of Umami Burger, Micah Wexler of Mezze, Chris Consentino of Incanto, and drinks by Adrian Biggs of Harvard & Stone. It is basically like having three restaurants and a bar in one big space. The menu is divided into four sections: The Cure (Jewish style Kosher deli), Pigg (all things pork), Umami Burger, and drinks. There is a separate dessert menu of gourmet donuts. They do not accept reservations. The bar space is first come first serve and you can order anything from the menu regardless of where you are sitting.
Pigg: Fries with Brainaise (mayonnaise and brains).
Pigg: Crispy Pig Ears with Brainaise. Crunchy, chewy, mixed with lemon and parsley, and tasted great with the aioli mixed with brains.
The Cure: Knishes. These are filled with mashed potatoes and they tasted delicious with the mustard.
The Cure: Pastrami Sandwich.
Umami-Pastrami. This is one of new additions to the Umami Burger menu. It was delicious but a bit heavy with the pastrami.
The Dessert Menu. All donuts are made to order. We had the FG&J. Tres Leches seems to be a popular one.
Foie Gras & Jelly Donut. Would have been the best jelly donut without the foie gras.
Cappuccino. The drink menu features an elaborate list of wines, beers, and cocktails. I am not much of a day time drinker, so I will have to go back at night and try them.
I loved the experience at UMAMIcatessen and I think the concept is very cool. I am going back next Sunday with a friend and cannot wait to try other things on the menu. This visit I focused on all the things Jonathan Gold talked about. It turned out to be a little on the heavier side, so I recommend blending these dishes with some lighter options over the course of a few visits.
Good Food: A Walking Tour of Boyle Heights.
This is an excellent piece that takes you through the history, demographics, and restaurants in this area. A complete list of restaurants is on the website. One of my favorite places in this area not listed here is El Jato at 2936 E. 4th Street. It has great seafood.
El Jato, Botana de Mariscos. All this for $14.50. Fresh and delicious.
El Jato. All the chips, crackers, tostadas came with one order of
Botana de Mariscos.
NPR: Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
This is a documentary about Jiro Ono and his 10 seat three Michelin stars sushi restaurant in Tokyo, Japan. The film opens in Los Angeles this Friday March 16th. I am very interested to see the art and the meticulousness that goes into dishing out sushi that costs $300 and up.
In Transit, NY Times: The Layover App.
This is the coolest app I've ever downloaded. For $1.99 you get all the details (restaurants, attractions, bars, inspiration, dos & don'ts, getting there) of all the cities featured in the first season of The Layover. The inspiration tab under each city has books, music, and movies to check out.
Los Angeles Times: Los Angeles' Reflection in a Plate.Jonathan Gold's first article for the Los Angeles Times captures the diversity of the food in Los Angeles. The Thursday food section of the paper has been moved to Saturdays under Food & Dining.
Los Angeles Times: Restaurant Review: Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air by S. Irene Virbila.