DTLA: Return to Le Comptoir
I recently took a friend to Le Comptoir for her birthday. When we eat together, we tend to be protein (land or sea) seekers. So when she heard I was taking to veggie loving Chef Gary Menes’ pop-up, she was a bit skeptical.
We got there a bit early so Chef Gary fed us a bit of the pizza he had made for the staff meal. A simple cheese and another slice of tomato and cheese were outstanding.
We decided to share most of our courses. Although I really also wanted the soup, I felt it was important my friend get first dibs so she too could worship the shrine of Gary’s soups. This mushroom veloute with cream cheese “dip” and farinette was of course a hit. But don’t feel bad for me. My consolation prize? Foie Gras.
Oh, so luscious.
A near constant at Le Comptoir is the egg in the sizzling Staub pan. This time, the egg was a beautifully colored duck egg. I tried to use only half the butter but Gary admonished me that he knew how much was needed. All right, full pat it is!
With 14 different vegetables and fruit on the plate, this was a vegetarian delight. I was really into the root veggies but found the fruit to be a welcome change in flavor. The beets and fava beans were also great.
For our next course, my friend opted for the veggies again while I had the pork rillettes. She was already full from the veggie platter and kept making “mmm, mmm!” noises. Aha, she’s digging the veggies!
As for me, I love ’em too but am glad for a little pork every now and then (okay, a lot now and then). The rillettes were perfect- great texture and I loved that it was paired with more vegetables. The nubby wheat berries were very toothsome and a hearty grain to go with the dish.
To lighten things back up, we had the lemon curd dessert. It was so ethereal and yet I was happy with my couple of bites.
I believe my friend left completely satisfied and happy to know you can have a great meal without much meat.
We’re looking forward to when Chef Gary finds his permanent space but until then, the pop-up at Tiara Cafe does very well nicely.
127 E 9th St., Los Angeles, CA 90015
© The Minty 2012
Other Meals by Gary Menes