424 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 9/13/14
A couple of weeks ago, b.o.s. announced it would close its doors on Sept. 27th. I was very disappointed to hear the news, but knew it wasn’t exactly packing the tables despite mostly positive reviews. Its nose-to-tail concept seemed like it could be a good fit in the area, but I’m not sure it ever caught on with the local crowd. Its closure just seems way too soon. I visited almost a year ago, soon after the restaurant opened, and enjoyed my meal there. I wanted to stop in at least one more time to see what’s changed.
During my first visit, we dined at the omakase-only bar. On this subsequent one, we sat in the dining room and had the full a la carte menu to choose from. To me, the menu is just as interesting as before with a mix of “exotic” like tongue, heart, brain, and intestines but also some more typical beefy items like oxtails, short ribs, and a handful of steak options.
Grilled Miso Heart King Oyster Mushrooms, Yuzu Miso Vinaigrette
The heart was cooked rare with a delightfully chewy texture; the beefy flavor was made even more savory by the addition of the oyster mushrooms, while a bright and acidic vinaigrette helped to balance it all out.
Fried Tripe “Calamari” & Small Intestine Chicharrón Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Dip, Issan Dressing
Clearly not the healthiest thing on the menu, this dish featured tripe and intestine fried to a crisp. Crunchy and slightly chewy at the same time, these soaked up the sauces nicely.
Sizzling Thai Tongue Thai Aromatics, Lime Chili Sauce
The presentation of this dish piqued our interest – thin slices of tongue and aromatics were placed on a screeching hot cast iron plate at the table. Bright onion and carrot flavors balanced the rich tongue; it was key to quickly eat the beef (or remove from the serving plate) to avoid overcooking.
Uni and Lobster Pasta Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Maine Lobster, Kizami Nori, Homemade Fettuccine
This was a must-order based on the description and it didn’t disappoint. The rich sauce had very apparent sea urchin flavor accented by sweet small chunks of lobster. The pasta had a great chew too, holding up well in the rich sauce.
Bone-In Short Rib Hunan Braise & Spices, Dinosaur Kale, Olive Oil Poached Peewees
An exceptional short rib and one of the best I’ve had in recent memory. The beef was exceedingly tender, almost falling apart, and had a good beefy flavor. Hunan spices were mildly spicy and brought a ton of flavor, while the peewee potatoes were a tender, creamy accompaniment to the beef.
A5 Japanese Wagyu NY Strip (Hokkaido) Trio of Sea Salts
The kitchen gifted this treat, A5 wagyu from Hokkaido. Cooked a perfect medium rare with a really nice crust, it showed off the rich marbling beautifully. Very rich and luscious pieces of meat. A trio of sea salts came with the beef to really enjoy it in its simplest form. Great stuff, and a relative bargain at b.o.s. at $16/oz (I often see it for around double that).
Cheesecake Passion Fruit, Guava & Mango Jelly
We ended with something sweet. The cheesecake was creamy, but not exceedingly rich, with the sweet fruit complement helping to offset the creaminess.
b.o.s. will be missed. It’s unfortunate that the restaurant didn’t catch on as I’ve found the menu to be very interesting and execution of the menu pretty strong. It just goes to show that good food and a popular location doesn’t always make a successful restaurant. I would urge anyone that’s had b.o.s. on their radar to give it a try during their final week.