705 W. 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Thurs, 01/15/2015, 8:15pm reservation
Located within minutes from the Staples Center and just around the corner from The Original Pantry Cafe, Faith and Flower is a restaurant that attempts to bring uniqueness and originality to Downtown Los Angeles. The eatery offers a distinct decor that strives to reflect on the 1920s as well as incorporate a contemporary ambiance. Grandiose chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows, large green goblets, low velvet booth tables transforms what would have been a simple restaurant into something luxurious.
Chef Michael Hung, formerly from La Folie in San Francisco overlooks the kitchen. Dishes are meant to be shared, preferably 2-3 per person. The food is modern with a hint of Asian influences from the chef.
The interior (with a raw bar at the corner for shucking oysters):
The menu: a book made with precision. The menu is elaborate and is integrated into a foreign language book along with quotations from the famous.
Delicata Squash and Apple Salad ($12.00): Truffled mustard cream, pecorino cheese. If you expect this to be a healthy salad, then you are out of luck. It's creamy, a bit salty from the cheese and offers sweetness from the squash. Tartness and bitterness can be tasted throughout the dish stemming from the endive. Its not a spectacular dish in my opinion, but then again, can salad ever be spectacular?
Duck Liver Mousse Tarts ($6.00): Grenadine candied onions. This is one of the more popular dishes. The tart itself is a crispy puff pastry filled with duck liver mousse. The mousse was definitely creamy and the candied onions was unquestionably needed to counteract the creaminess. The tart to liver mousse ratio was off the mark. There was just too much mousse and not enough tart (and that's saying a lot coming from me)!
Dungeness Crab Toast ($16.00): Jicama, avocado, green goddess aioli. Fresh dungeness crab with a hint of spice on a fairly thick piece of dry, stale toast. Everything about it was fresh other than the toast itself. Maybe it was meant to be stale so the crab could shine?
Lamb Pierogis ($18.00): Caramelized onions, Fermented black soy. The sauce was rich, tasty with a soy sauce undertone. The lamb was a bit on the gamey side, which was fine. The pierogis themselves were soft until I bit into the edges, which were a tad undercooked.
Housemade Cavatelli ($16.00): Roasted mushrooms and garlic, baby kale, parmigiano reggiano. Our original order was for the spaghetti, but I think they were testing out the dineLA menu. Cavatelli is a shelled pasta resembling a hot dog bun. The pasta was good, cooked al dente. The sauce was more like a broth than a sauce with a hint of citrus.
Oxtail Agnolotti ($17.00): My favorite dish. Bone marrow butter, asian pear salsa, beef tendon chicharrones. This order was forgotten by the waiter and was meant to be on the fly (which translated to a 20 minute wait time...not very speedy in my opinion). Again, the sauce was similar to a broth with a few pepper flakes. Texture of the agnolotti was great and the chicharrones was a perk to the dish. I just wish there were more of the chicharrones to the plate since the crunch was needed in every bite.
Overall, the restaurant was meant to offer uniqueness with complicated flavors which fell short. Most of the dishes were good but were not amazing. The restaurant has a great ambiance and considering that its been less than a year since opening its doors, it was bustling. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to try this restaurant again; however, if you're in the area and have no idea where to eat, then this might be a good contender. Tip: parking can be a bit difficult. The restaurant offers valet for $6 with validation and can be easily missed. Make sure to pay attention to the signs and turn into the alleyway on 9th after Figueroa.