Monday, February 29, 2016

POST AND BEAM (LOS ANGELES, CA)

Post and Beam
3767 Santa Rosalia Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90008
www.postandbeamla.com
Tel: 323.299.5599
$$ ($15-$30)
DineLA- $29 PP for 3 courses
Cuisine: Southern
Fri, 01/22/2016, 7:30pm Reservation
    (3.5 Piglets)




Southern food is hard to find in Los Angeles. Specifically, a dose of good southern food is like winning the lottery. Govind Armstrong and Brad Johnson have developed a menu to offer Southern cuisine as well as comfort food to us Angelenos. From good ol' shrimp and grits to hand stretched pizzas, you can find basically anything to satisfy your soul.


The interior
Table setting

The location is quite hidden in the Crenshaw Plaza. I actually had to drive in circles to find the place, but once found, I was a happy camper. The actual d├ęcor is very cozy and was poppin' for a Friday night. As far as the food goes, well, see for yourself...


WARM HOMEMADE CORN BREAD WITH WHIPPED HONEY BUTTER ($3.00 EACH): I thought the corn bread was just alright. It was a little bit on the dry end and I much prefer something with bits of corn in it. The butter was fantastic though. I probably wouldn't order this again. 

MAC N' CHEESE, HERBED BREAD CRUMBS ($5.00): This was a simple mac n' cheese but for some reason, I found myself digging my fork for seconds and thirds. It was creamy and satisfying with some crunch from the breadcrumbs. It became quite addicting for a dish that I initially thought was just okay. So maybe it really wasn't okay. I ended up loving it in the end. 

COURSE 1: HANGER STEAK TARTARE WITH CORNMEAL BLINI, CHILI SORGHUM, AND GARDEN HERBS. This was a good start to the meal. The tartare had a lot of flavor. Was it the best I've ever tasted? No, but it did satisfy my cravings. I loved the blinis, which are similar to mini pancakes. 


COURSE 2: BRAISED SHORT RIB, POTATO CELERY MOUSSELINE, SEASONAL MUSHROOMS, AND HERB SALAD. The short rib was a tad on the tough, fatty end. I loved the potato celery and together, the dish worked quite nicely. It was a heavy dish so I would suggest you order a light appetizer if you were to order this dish. I thought the dish was just okay. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. COURSE 3: CHOCOLATE CHESS PIE.  I loved this dessert. It wasn't overly sweet and the pecan concoction that came on the side was absolutely delish. It was almost like eating a chocolate pecan pie if you were to mix the two together. The texture was great and the pie actually tasted better the next day! 

Overall, Post and Beam did offer Southern comfort food with a modern twist. The restaurant isn't overly pricey and is a good place to take a date. For the amount of food we received and the price we paid via DineLA, it was a bang for your buck. 

Notable dishes: Chocolate Chess Pie

Friday, February 5, 2016

DRAGO CENTRO (DOWNTOWN, LOS ANGELES, CA)

Drago Centro
525 South Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
www.dragocentro.com
Tel: 213.228.8998
$$$ ($30-$45)
DINELA- $49 PP FOR 3 COURSES
Cuisine: Italian
Mon, 01/18/2016, 7:00pm reservation
    (3.5 Piglets)




Italian is one of my favorite cuisines of all time. How could you not love a decadent bowl of pasta with your favorite sauce to go with it? To slurp those noodles is like slurping heaven into your mouth. With that in mind, I was excited to check out Drago Centro for DineLA. I visited this restaurant once prior to DineLA and had a wonderful experience. Now, it was time to see whether they were consistent with the food and service.

Drago Centro is a beautifully constructed restaurant. Nestled in the heart of Downtown LA, the eatery can be a bit difficult to find (I was at a loss trying to find the valet). Large windows with a contemporary ambiance bring sophistication to the restaurant. There is a gorgeous display of their wine collection that seems to be their focal point. 

The bar
The interior dining room

COURSE 1: BURRATA, SHAVED FENNEL, CROSTINI, HAZELNUTS, ENDIVE, TRUFFLE VINAIGRETTE. This dish was delicious but a bit overwhelming. The burrata was creamy to the point that after a few bites, I was done. There was not enough of the crostini to absorb and balance the creaminess. The fennel was a nice touch that added freshness to the dish. Regardless, I still finished the plate (cause I don't like wasting delicious food), but my friend could only eat half. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. LE PAPPARDELLE AL FAGIANO ($20.00-NOT PART OF THE DINELA MENU): Pappardelle, Roasted Pheasant, Morel Mushrooms. This was an extremely flavorful dish. The pasta was cooked perfectly with the perfect texture and bite. The pheasant wasn't overly gamey nor was it dry. The morel mushrooms gave an earthiness to the dish. 


BRAISED PORK BELLY: Soft Polenta, Brussel Sprouts, Sage Fonduta. As soon as I saw this, I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately, the pork belly was a tad bit dry and lacked seasoning. I normally love fat but it was actually a bit overwhelming for me. The brussel sprouts were good and so was the soft polenta but that was about it.  


PASQUINI ESPRESSO, POURED OVER A SCOOP OF GELATO. This was a good affogato dessert. The espresso was strong and the gelato was creamy. I don't think you could really mess up this dessert unless you mess up the gelato and espresso. 


CHOCOLATE AND OLIVE OIL TERRINE, SALTED CARAMEL GELATO, ALMONDS. I loved this dessert and it was probably the best dish out of the dineLA menu. The terrine was rich in chocolate flavor and wasn't overpowered by the olive oil. The gelato was perfect and the marcona almonds added a nice touch and texture to the dish. Perfect! 

Overall, the food is decent but not as wonderful as my first visit at Drago Centro. The waitress we had was not very accommodating. In fact, she disappeared for awhile and it was hard to flag her down. So in essence, consistency needs a bit of work as well as the service. Would I come back? Sure! I'm always down to give a restaurant another shot. If it can be as good as my first visit, then I'm sold!

Notable Dishes: Pappardelle and Chocolate and Olive Oil Terrine