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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Surf and Turf in Downtown LA

Here are tidbits from my dinela experiences.

1) If you like seafood, are near downtown during the lunch hour and don't get to go to the Water Grill on an expense account, you may want to try it.

The cucumber rolled spicy big eye tuna with hearts of palm puree, ruby grapefruit and tobiko (green fish eggs) was refreshing and spicy but nothing to write home about.
The grilled Columbia River White Sturgeon with coriander spiced yam, rapini, baby roasted beets, pearled barley and oregano, on the other hand, was very good. The sweetness of the beets went very well with the meatiness of the fish and that yam puree was so soft and with just enough of a kick to make it interesting.

The desserts were decadent and well-made.

2) If you are near downtown and like burgers, O Bar and Kitchen is a hidden gem that serves excellent sliders for great value. For $22, you get a huge butter lettuce salad, a set of 3 sliders with bacon, provolone, horseradish, aioli, and tomato confit, served with truffle parmesan tater tots and dessert. My companions and I were immediately skeptical of the place when the bread first arrived as the bottom of the breads were hard as rocks as if they had been microwaved. It didn't help that they also looked like bread you get in airplanes -- not a good sign, we murmured to ourselves. But the new bar/restaurant located at a lobby of a boutique hotel redeemed itself with its food. The mezze of hummus and other goodies to dip the pita triangles in was solid.

The tater tots were a bit greasy but the sliders were cooked perfectly (despite the fact that all three of us had asked for medium-rare, medium and medium-well) to our liking. The horseradish and other sauces that accompanied the sliders were just what the bloody red meat needed. Plus, they looked so cute! The big disappointment was the desserts. I practically went here for the desserts, most notably the chocolate churros and chocolate croissant bread pudding. One bite each was enough of a turnoff. Don't go for the desserts.

Water Grill
544 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 891-0900

O Bar and Kitchen
819 S. Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 623-9904

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