DTLA: The Bar at Noe Serves Up Street Food
Recently, the bar at Noe Restaurant at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles launched a street food menu. This menu will be available until at least April 1.
I was invited to check it out and to meet new Beverage Director Tyler Dow whom I know from his stint at Checkers Downtown and the Effen Vodka contest I judged last year.
We chose to sit in front of the cozy fire and I started with the Pacific Old Fashioned. Tyler explained the Omni had access to bar menus from their various properties and travelers would find comfort in seeing signature drinks across the various properties. They also can create custom cocktails to your palate.
Pacific Old Fashioned – Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, muddled orange peels, raw sugar, bitters
I always like to see what the bar can come up with and was pleased with this bourbon-rum fashioned. It was a tiny bit sweet for me but I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.
Chefs from several Omni properties contributed to the street food menu. The menu is quite international with bites from Brazil to Boston, Singapore to San Antonio and more. We started out with the gorgeous citrus ancho braised lamb tostada with generous chunks of avocado. The lamb was very tender and I liked the tangy citrus flavor.
We also had the famous peddler’s char kway teow, a well-known noodle dish in South East Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia). I loved the huge plump shrimp.
In Palestine, street vendors sell a sandwich called musakhan. At Noe, the sandwich with chicken, pickled cucumber, onion and Arabic spices like sumac transports one to the Middle East. I can see how the flatbread would make this an easy street food to munch on.
On the signature cocktails list, a mojito is reved up with ginger. I like how the Far East Mojito is strained of the mint, presenting a very pretty sipper.
Far East Mojito – Barcadi limon rum, lime, muddled mint, sugar, ginger, soda water
If you want to go for something a bit more substantial, the short rib and Vermont cheddar sandwich is the best sort of grilled cheese on brioche bread. This is very American comfort food. It reminds me of great sandwiches you can get from street food trucks or farmers markets. But what’s great about this and the other items from the street food menu is of course, the cocktails that accompany your meal.
The duck empanada doesn’t take us to just one destination but has us globe trotting to Latin America, France and Asia. The empanada is stuffed with delicious duck confit and comes with a great smoked tomato mayo dip. We initially cut these in half but I quickly scooped the other half of my empanada onto my side plate.
Tyler came over with his version of the Monte Carlo. He likes to use two different kinds of bitters in this classic brown, bitter, stirred cocktail. For this Monte Carlo, Tyler uses the coveted Wild Turkey Rye 101, Benedictine, both orange and Peychaud’s bitters as well as a lemon twist. We talked a bit about our favorite Manhattan variations and agreed how much we loved Red Hooks and Green Points. Of course I like Monte Carlos as well.
The last dish I tried from the street food menu is the Acaraje de Orixa. It’s a fritter made of black-eyed peas and shrimp paste. With roots in Nigeria, this is generally sold on the streets of Bahia in Brazil.
Tyler and I started reminiscing about Tales of the Cocktail which got me in the mood for a Vieux Carre. This was delicious and perfectly balanced.
Executive chef Glen Ishii came out with a special treat for us. It was during dineLA and this was one of the entree choices. I had never seen such a spectacularly looking fish. The winged Hobo fish served whole was just so cool to look at. And I loved the itty bitty carrots and radishes. The fish was very tender and flavorful. Chef Glen mentioned he liked cooking this fish so expect to see it on the regular menu.
We ended our meal with a couple of desserts. The beignets in a chocolate “soup” and the panna cotta. The beignets were decadent. A chocolate fiend would love this. I also enjoyed the subtle panna cotta. It was delicate and lovely.
I think the bar at Noe would be a great place to dine before a show at the Music Center.
at Omni Hotel251 S Olive St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 — (213) 356-4100
© The Minty 2013