Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Little Tokyo: Lazy Ox Canteen

Birthday dinner posts part 2!

After dining at C&O Trattoria the night before, Michael and Diana took me out at Lazy Ox Canteen, which is helmed by Top Chef Season 5 cheftestant, Josef Centeno. He's a fairly well-known chef in LA, having cooked at Opus and Lot1, both very fine establishments. Open in 2009, Lazy Ox Canteen has been a hot spot for LA foodies due to the Top Chef fame, and of course, being named as a one of the top new chef in the Pacific Northwest by Food & Wine magazine.

Lazy Ox Canteen
241 S San Pedro St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

lazy ox canteen
In Little Tokyo under an apartment complex. Normally you wouldn't think a restaurant would be there, but there's actually 2 pretty hip restaurants there

The sign.

Bar where Michael and Diana started off with glasses of wine.

Stemless wine glasses is a hip trend but I like :]

2009 Batic Winter Rose from Slovenija

2010 Altocedro Malbec from Argentina.

Menu 1.

Menu 2. The items here are served like tapas, more like a global izakaya, except it's American with influences from all over the world.

truffle section
They have black truffle dishes! And it is actually from Italy! None of that stuff from Oregon or China. Will be back for it next time!

After we were seated, I opted for an Allagash, which is a Belgian style ale from New England. Love the complexity of this beer.

beef carpaccio
First to arrive, Beef Carpaccio. It has pecorino sprinkled throughout and topped with pickled shallots, micro greens, and mustard oil. Not the biggest fan of it but interesting take!

poblano soup with pork belly
Poblano soup with pork belly and grape.

close up
Another very interesting combo, sweet and salty at the same time. The pork belly is crisped first so it has a great bite even in the soup.

Pappardelle pasta with pork, beef ragu, & fried egg. Best thing on the menu since I'm a huge fan of hand made pappardelle, and it has meat sauce! When you break the egg yolk and the yolk runs down onto the pasta... that's the best part.

dashi marinated yellowtail
Dashi marinated yellowtail. Sorta like an yellowtail salad except made with avocado rather than mayo, and tonburi is sprinkled to to give it slight pop. The hash brown it comes with is kinda out of place though.

caramelized cauliflower
My 2nd favorite of the night, caramelized cauliflower. I love the citrus-y note on this. It looks plain but the garlic, pine nuts, chile flake, and the dressing over it is great.

Fried Chicharron. Pig ears! Being Asian I love pig ears and when it is fried? Yes sir. Comes with horseradish dipping sauce but I like it with just lemon squeezed over it.

ricotta fritters
Ricotta fritters is drizzled with this saffron honey and saba. It's the slight hint of saffron that makes it unique. More like a dessert dish though!

french press
In preparation for our true dessert, I had to get a cup of coffee. They give you an individual size of French press coffee!

Good coffee aroma and flavor! I should get one of those French press haha.

butter scotch
Butter scotch recommended to us by our server. Holy, that thing is butter scotch to the max! Very sweet and satisfying. The fresh cream on the side is a nice touch.

Again, thanks to Michael and Diana for taking me to check out this spot! I will definitely come back once more to check out the other items, like their famous burgers and save up for a black truffle dish :P