What You’re Eating: Best Spring Dishes in LA

April 20, 2016 10:55 PM

(Credit: acuna-hansen)

(Credit: acuna-hansen)


Spring is all about what’s fresh and new, opening the door for updates and changes of all kinds. In light of the season, restaurants across the city are launching menus and adding items that showcase spring’s crème de la crème of ingredients and flavors. Here are a few of the best dishes you must try while they’re up for grabs.

(Credit: Aestus)

(Credit: Aestus)


Spring Pea Risotto
Aestus
507 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(424) 268-4433
www.aestusrestaurant.com

Sweet, farmer’s market peas are on many menus across the city during this season. Aestus fashioned a spring green risotto with English peas forefront and center. The creamy, Italian-inspired dishes also features carrots, bacon, Meyer lemon, and sprigs of pea tendrils. You’ll only find this risotto on the dinner menu, and it is available as a starter size or entrée. Side with the half portion, so you’ll have plenty of room to try several dishes from Chef Andrew Betita’s menu.

(Credit: BOA Steakhouse)

(Credit: BOA Steakhouse)


Avocado and Burrata Toast
BOA Steakhouse
9200 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 278-2050
www.innovativedining.com

BOA Steakhouse’s new lunch menu is a showcase of several sandwiches and entrée salads that are perfect for your next power lunch. For something light and fresh, try the Avocado and Burrata Toast. Toasted country bread receives a hearty helping of smashed avocado, then it is topped with creamy burrata cheese, King Trumpet mushrooms, hazelnuts and peppery arugula. An aromatic, subtle truffle vinaigrette dresses the greens. This is the kind of avocado toast you’ll want to replicate at home.

(Credit: Fig & Olive)

(Credit: Fig & Olive)


Sea Scallops
8490 Melrose Pl
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 360-9100
www.figandolive.com

A new appetizer hit Fig & Olive’s menu featuring scallops and citrus. The Sea Scallops are exquisitely seared and served with carrot-orange purée, roasted orange segments and honey heirloom carrots. There are also splashes of charmoula, which adds an herbacious element to the plate. Fig & Olive truly focuses on Mediterranean-inspired dishes that speak to regions of coastal Italy, France and Spain, and you’ll recognize those influences in this platter.

(Credit: Avec Nous)

(Credit: Avec Nous)


Seared Foie Gras à l’Orange
Avec Nous
Viceroy L’Ermitage
9291 Burton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 278-3344
www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

Avec Nous combines classic French bistro food and Riviera-inspired atmosphere with a menu full of European-Mediterranean influences. The new restaurant recently opened its doors, and one of the starters on the menu is Seared Foie Gras à l’Orange. The dish features a piece of grilled Hudson Valley foie gras with local oranges, which add tart sweetness that balances the richness of the liver. You’ll find this item on the dinner menu served nightly.

(Credit: Chrystal Baker)

(Credit: Chrystal Baker)


Crudo
Demitasse Roastery and Kitchen
1542 North Cahuenga Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 498-5155
www.cafedemitasse.com

Cafe Demitasse recently opened its Hollywood post, and this new location expanded food offerings in ways that may have you wondering if you’re at a coffee shop or a gourmet restaurant. The roastery serves food from morning to night with a menu crafted by Executive Chef Jeff Lustre. He’s created unique crudo that layers hamachi with ogonori seaweed, roasted kukui nutmeats, avocado mousse and Japanese rice pellets. Definitely sample one of the cafe’s fair trade coffees after your meal, or try one of the signature shims (wine, sake, vermouth and coffee-based drinks) that make the cocktail menu one-of-a-kind.

(Credit: République)

(Credit: République)


Farmer’s Market Salad
République
624 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(310) 362-6115
www.Republiquela.com

If the spring season means eating light and focusing on all the beautiful green produce you can possibly ingest, head to République for the Farmer’s Market Salad. It’s a bowl full of Little Gem lettuce, arugula, fennel, asparagus, baby carrots, Sun Gold tomatoes, farro, and spring peas, with a helping of pea hummus on the side. Spiced yogurt and dukkah drape the greens, along with a bright lemon vinaigrette. It’s available every day after 11a. Enjoy it while you can.

(Credit: Chrystal Baker)

(Credit: Chrystal Baker)


Pork Ham Confit
Salt’s Cure
1155 Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 465-7258
www.saltscure.com

Salt’s Cure’s new location on Highland Avenue is a vast expansion compared to the original post. It’s a welcoming space to enjoy weekend brunch, dinner, or the new lunch menu. Try the Pork Ham Confit featuring Marin Sun Farms pork smoked in-house. It’s then confited and served at room temperature with pea tendril purée, tender new potatoes and farmer’s market vegetables based on the chef’s choice. This is an elevated version of meat and potatoes with a seasonal twist.

(Credit: Chrystal Baker)

(Credit: Chrystal Baker)


Ridgeback Prawn Ceviche Tostada
El Chavo
4441 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 664-0871
www.elchavorestaurant.com

In case you haven’t heard, El Chavo’s closed its doors last November and has now re-opened as a pop-up with a revamped food and beverage menu thanks to Scarpetta’s Executive Chef Freddy Vargas, Ceviche Project’s Octavio Olivas, and Cocktail Academy’s Brandyn Tepper of Cocktail Academy. One of the must-eat dishes includes the Ridgeback Prawn Ceviche Tostada featuring Santa Barbara prawns, avocado, pickled mustard seeds, sweet tomatoes, habanero peppers and cilantro flowers. There’s no telling how long this pop-up plans to stick around, so get in there while the eating’s good at this neighborhood joint.

(Credit: Hey 19 Public House)

(Credit: Hey 19 Public House)


The Hendrickson
Hey 19 Public House
4525 Calle Mayor
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 378-8119
www.hey19publichouse.com

Delectable lamb dishes tend to surface in abundance during this time of year. Hey 19 Public House created its own version of that familiar lamb and mint combo. Rack of lamb seasoned with a spearmint tea spice mix is paired with roasted pee wee potatoes, watercress and a fig reduction. There’s often live music at the low key bar-restaurant, so stick around after your meal for good tunes along with a few cocktails.

Chrystal Baker is a freelance food and events contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Basil Magazine and Frugivore Magazine. She is the co-editor of a recipe blog, The Duo Dishes, and manages her own lifestyle and travel blog, Any and Everywhere.