Sunday, November 15, 2015


114 E. 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: 213.788.1191
$$$ ($30-$45)
Cuisine: Modern American
Wed, 11/04/2015, 8:15pm reservation
     (4.5 Piglets)

Redbird is one of those restaurants that is mesmerizing. Located in Downtown Los Angeles, it is housed in the former rectory building of the Vibiana. The main dining room is open, sophisticated and contemporary with a retractable ceiling. Somehow, Chef Neal Fraser got it right for creating the perfect balance between modern and comfort within the realm of the restaurant.

The food is vibrant, eclectic and innovative. The menu ranges from small bites to large plates that are meant to be shared. The Top Chef Masters contestant collaborated with Julian Cox for a downright beautiful cocktail menu.

The bar
One part of the interior
Complimentary Aperitif ...nice, simple and a good way to start my meal

GRILLED LOCAL CALAMARI ($14.00): Cranberry beans, Portuguese sausage. The grilled calamari was fresh and had a smokey flavor from the grill and the sausage. It had good flavors but it wasn't my favorite dish. Texture wise, it wasn't my favorite either
CHICKEN POT PIE ($14.00): Hearts, Thighs, Thyme, Hen of the Woods. This is absolutely delish. The crust was flaky and the inner portion was rich and savory. Good flavors and definitely representative of what a pot pie should taste like...even if they include hearts. Still tastes like chicken...
NEW CALEDONIAN SHRIMP ($16.00): Grits, Cocoa nib, Chipotle mole. This dish was cooked superbly. The shrimp was cooked to perfection and the chipotle mole was spicy and rich. The dish was cohesive and the grits...oh man...I want me some more! 
FOIE GRAS (COMPLIMENTARY BY THE CHEF): I think I died and gone to heaven. This dish was absolutely magnificent. The foie gras was rich and cooked perfectly. The sauce had Asian flavors, evocative of a Thai curry. Who would've thought Thai curry and foie gras would go so well together? I wanted this dish all to myself! It wasn't on the menu but it definitely should be. 
GRILLED LAMB BELLY ($18.00): Kimchi, Sweet potato, Scallion. This was one of my favorite dishes. The lamb had a delicate, crispy flavor from the grill. And the kimchi was formed into a pancake like component that went well with the lamb. A well put together dish. 
RACK OF RED WATTLE PORK ($44.00): Spaetzle, Oregon Hazelnuts, Apricot Mostarda, Calvados Blood Sauce. The pork had good flavors and was seasoned well, but unfortunately, it was a tad bit overcooked and dry. Regardless, I loved the spaetzle. The apricot added a nice sweetness to the dish. Would I order this again? Probably not. I much preferred the duo of beef that I had on a previous visit than this dish. 

GRILLED SWORDFISH ($31.00): Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Fregola, Fennel, Chevre, Nicoise Olive. This dish definitely had a strong Mediterranean feel to it. The chevre was good and pungent. The tomatoes were delicious. I just wasn't the biggest fan of the swordfish. I felt it was dry and overdone. I needed the tomatoes to coat the fish to counterbalance the dryness of the fish. Not my favorite dish of the night. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. BRAISED GOAT GEMELLI ($21.00): Rapini, Garlic Bread Crumbs, Poached Egg, Fresno Chili. I can't reiterate how amazing this dish is. It was savory with the perfect crunch from the bread crumbs, a bit of spice from the fresno chilis, and the right amount of richness from the poached egg. Everything that I want in a pasta I had in this dish. The gemelli was cooked perfectly. And the added depth and flavor without being too gamey. I loved it and would just go back for this dish! 
FIG TART ($12.00): Parmesan Ice Cream, Caramel. If you like desserts that aren't too sweet or are not a sweets type of person, this is your kind of dessert. It's definitely savory and the Parmesan ice cream was a bit weird to my liking in terms of texture. This dessert is not my favorite, but that's cause I like sweetness. I appreciate the creativity though. 
CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BAR ($12.00): Bourbon Chocolate, Smoked Pecans, Bananas Fosters Ice Cream. My favorite of the two desserts. I loved this dessert. It was sweet and creamy with the perfect texture. The crust of the bar had a bit of crunch and the pecans just added even more texture to the dish. The banana flavor was subtle and bits of banana bruleed was delicious. I just wish there was more ice cream cause I'm a piglet who loves me some ice cream. 
Overall, Downtown Los Angeles is one lucky place to house a restaurant like Redbird. Chef Neal Fraser put his heart and soul into this restaurant and it is apparent in his food he dishes out. The flavors are robust and the ingredients are unique. The ambiance is fantastic. Be sure to ask to sit al fresco in the other part of the restaurant. It's magical, just like his food.


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