Faith & Flower
705 W 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Dining date: 4/3/14
Faith & Flower is one of the bigger downtown restaurant openings lately, brought to us by a powerful partnership between Coastal Luxury Management (Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Los Angeles Food & Wine) and Stephane Bombet (Picca). It’s the first LA restaurant opening for the high-profile CLM team and Bombet’s first since his partnership with Ricardo Zarate.
The restaurant space, formerly Towne Food & Drink, is large and quite nice. Located near LA Live, it has a luxurious-feeling interior, though still feels comfortable for someone having a casual meal out. The restaurant partners brought in chef Michael Hung to execute the menu, who comes with a San Francisco-based fine dining pedigree (Jardinere, La Folie). The food is more approachable than his background may suggest; it could be classified as modern American and I found a lot of Asian flair throughout his food. Between our party of three, we sampled our way through a good portion of the menu, picking out a number of vegetarian-friendly items for our vegetarian friend.
ben hur buffalo trace bourbon, lemon, apricot marmalade, italian meringue, aromatic bitters
garden cup pimms, basil, citrus, pickled carrot
vaudeville square one botanical vodka, lemon, raspberry gum, aromatic bitters, rosemary, italian meringue
Cocktails are the work of another NorCal import – Michael Lay out of Restaurant 1833 in Monterey (a CLM project). From start to finish, we all found the cocktails to be excellent. One of the best all-around cocktail experiences I’ve had in the city. I found the drinks to have a wonderful balance of elements from the sweet, bright and fresh, and to the aromatic. My favorite was the vaudeville.
deviled jidori eggs korean chili, kimchee
Deviled eggs came out cool and creamy, with the spicy kimchi packing a punch of flavor cutting through the rich yolk.
dungeness crab toast jicama, pickled sea beans, green goddess aioli
A thick piece of toast was the bed for chunks of sweet crab complemented by some citrus. Slivers of jimaca provided a crunchy fresh bite to this cool and refreshing plate.
oxtail agnolotti bone marrow butter, tangerine salsa, beef tendon, chicharrones
The agnolotti were a hit filled with a beefy oxtail filling and bathed in a rich savory sauce. Crunchy pieces of chicharron provided the texture and bone marrow butter? Seriously.
hand rolled garganelli butternut squash, swiss chard, aged goat cheese
The garganelli had a great chew with a balance of sweet and savory between the squash and cheese.
organic egg noodles berkshire pork and miso bolognese, daikon radish, ginger
These noodles, al dente and springy, resembled dan dan mien with its pork bolognese and Asian accents. Flavors were much cleaner and balanced though.
seared branzino marinated rock shrimp, blood orange bernaise
With a crispy skin and moist white meat, the branzino was cooked just right. Cool rock shrimp and the citrusy béarnaise were nice accompaniments. Definitely a good lighter option among our mains.
ny steak tartare uni cream, kombu seaweed, black sesame
I liked this take on the steak tartare with a number of Asian accents. Sea urchin cream and bonito added flavors of the sea and some slight smokiness that really worked well.
mushroom stuffed quail wood-oven roasted, madeira, mushroom sauce
I love a good quail but it needs to be cooked just right. This one didn’t disappoint as it was cooked perfectly with moist meat and an earthy mushroom stuffing. Looked beautiful too.
english peas & gold beets smoked sheep’s milk ricotta
Peas and beets provided bright, sweet flavors in this side dish; the ricotta added a lot of richness to each bite.
braised veal breast black barley polenta, sweet and sour cabbage
The veal was rich and gelatinous, balanced by the slightly tart cabbage. A creamy and earthy polenta made each bite that much more savory and hearty on this richer main course.
Upon completion of the savories, we moved on to dessert.
milk chocolate cremeux peanut butter crumble, big sur sea salt and caramel ice cream
This dessert had a myriad of textures and flavors that came together pretty well. Chocolate, peanut butter and caramel flavors came forward while the crumble added texture to the cremeux and meringue.
mignardises chocolates, passion fruit marshmallow, petite madeleine, almond biscotti, chocolate truffle
Lastly, we shared quite the assortment of sweets; my favorite had to be the chocolates.
leap of faith absinthe, root beer
To pair with dessert, the restaurant sent us this gift. Part show, more drink – this was a great nightcap to our meal.
I think Faith & Flower is a very welcome addition to the downtown dining scene. The varied menu seems to almost have something for everyone and execution was pretty much on-point all around. Favorites on this evening were the agnolotti, egg noodles, tartare and quail though nothing was a ‘miss.’ And the cocktails? I’m excited just to stop in for those.