Here’s Looking at You
Hiramasa – Radish, Wakame, Serrano, Onions, Charcoal
Soft Shell Prawns – Sauce Diavolo, Avocado, Rau Ram
Avocado – Valencia Orange, Nori, Hazelnut, Champagne Vinegar, Persimmon
Foie Gras Terrine – Unagi, Eel Sauce, Green Togarashi, Scallion
Stracciatella Cheese – Pepita, Yuzu Kosho, Perilla, Charred Bread
Veal Sweetbreads – Fennel, Mustard Seed, Sesame
Momotaro Tomato – Bagna Cauda, Lap Xuong, Crème Fraiche, Fines Herbes
Heritage Pork Belly – Key Lime Amba, Pineapple, Palm Sugar, Herbs, Shallots
Hamachi Collar – Nashville Hot Spice, Fuji Apple, Snake Peas
Sturgeon – Aged Rice Porridge, Chicken Skin, Verjus, Buttermilk
Quail x Quail – Beet, Red Wine Vinegar, Black Eyed Peas, Chow Chow
Rainbow Sherbet – Orange, Lime, Pineapple, Raspberry
Blueberry – Crema, Brown Sugar, Sable, Sorrel
Yuzu Tart – White Chocolate, Burnt Meringue
Milk Chocolate – Sunchoke, Hazelnut, Almond, Squid Ink Meringue
A growing concern in the City of Angels and What’s Trendy *Now,* the globally influenced menu ready to change each day depending on Farmer’s Market availability, it was on the back of favorable reviews from Chefs and those in the industry that reservations were made for six at Here’s Looking at You on Saturday, the small K-Town Hot Spot full with a wait-list even for bar seats, something the area has very rarely seen.
Toqued by Jonathan Whitener, the former Animal Chef bringing a recent history of finding balance in hefty meats to his own style of inspired California-cuisine, it was with much of the same crew that had visited Wolf earlier that the sizable, small plates menu was approached – the server proving more than capable of explaining the Chef’s ideas while also sure-footed at engaging in some witty banter regarding the restaurant’s rigid “Bar Pie” rules.
In some ways a ‘fusion’ restaurant, Los Angeles’ diverse melting pot explored in flavors from Thailand to Japan and Vietnam to Mexico, Here’s Looking At You equally embraces everything from Crudo to roast Meats and wood grilling, the opening round of snappy Amberjack refreshing beneath Radish and Seaweed with a light bit of smokiness while head-on Prawns were ready to be devoured whole in spicy red Sauce.
Taking surcharges to a somewhat ridiculous level with the Duck Liver Terrine and stretchy white Cheese, both plates undeniably delicious but over-served for the provided bread that will cost patrons $3 a slice if more is requested, the dish described as “Avocado” eschews the concept of “Toast” entirely, instead placing soft wedges in the context of sliced Persimmons, cracked Hazelnuts and Orange segments.
Veering French with a seared Sweetbread, the creamy fist-size Thymus with a caramelized exterior presented atop shaved Fennel with light notes of Sesame, an ugly Heirloom Tomato tossed with Bagna Cauda and Chinese Sausage was a tour de force of flavor segueing to thick chunks of Pork, the sticky Palm Sugar, Citrus and Pineapple rousing images of a luau somewhere in Hawaii.
Somewhere between the American South and Tsukiji Fish Market with Hamachi Collar, the flaky fish heated but reined in by sliced Apple, Sturgeon on a bed of fermented Rice with Chicken Skin and Buttermilk also looked to bridge East and West with a lot of success, the “Quail x Quail” continuing the theme as two small birds were served hemisected under a veil of Beets with a meaty Vinaigrette plus a bowl of Black Eyed Peas and Chow Chow in a sidecar.
Eventually tossing in the towel on being the first table to ever score a slice of pie served only to bar patrons, even a valid claim that we were dining with a minor rebuffed, it was with all four menu desserts that the evening came to a closure, the Rainbow Sherbet far better than Childhood memories dictate on a bed of dried fruit while “Blueberry” and “Milk Chocolate” both successfully embraced modern trends including Sorrel Granite in the first and Sunchoke Chips in the latter, the Yuzu Tart a simple stunner with the light amount of Cocoa adding a distinctive smoothness to the tangy yellow Custard.