DTLA: Tasting Menu at Fifty Seven
Fifty Seven opened in Downtown Los Angeles in the Arts District a few months ago. The concept will rotate different chefs and the opening chef is David Nayfeld (formerly New York’s acclaimed Eleven Madison Park). Chef Nayfeld is a California native and his cuisine is described as Progressive American.
While my friend enjoyed her wine, I took a look at the cocktail list. I opted to stick to whiskey and pisco this evening. On the menu, the Spanish Crown reminded me of a Hemingway daiquiri but with pisco instead of rum. It was a tiny bit sweet for me but grapefruit and lime juices kept it in check.
Spanish Crown – Kappa pisco, Luxardo maraschino, grapefruit, simple syrup, lime
We started out with complimentary gougeres and the light cheese puffs were great.
You are encouraged to order from the $48 3-course prix fixe (tasting menu) but you can also order just snacks and some snacks are quite heavy. My friend wanted the pasta and I had heard the scallops were great. We got these along with the tasting menu. I was surprised these items were not incorporated into the set menu but were served first. Here’s the meal as I would have served it- with vegetables/ salads first.
I went for the vegetable a la Greque because I love asparagus and hen of the woods mushrooms. This dish also had cauliflower. It was very well executed.
My friend had the Jerusalem artichoke. Another well-prepared vegetable dish. It’s too bad you could not order the items from the prix fixe menu a la carte but I understand their reasoning.
The pappardelle from the snacks menu was quite awesome. Wonderful al dente pasta and a lovely oxtail, morel mushrooms and pecorino sauce.
The diver scallops as previously reported were indeed one of the best dishes. I loved the wild rice and feta with the tender scallops. And the fennel lightened up the dish.
Sherry cocktails have been making a statement the last few years. I opted for the Contraband since it featured bourbon and one of my favorite sherry types, Amontillado sherry. The Averna amaro and ginger gave it a zing.
Contraband – Old Grandad bourbon, Amontillado sherry, Averna, ginger, lemon, pecan bitters
The skin on the Amish chicken was perfect. Lovely truffle sauce and very enjoyable. It made you long for days of simplicity and roast chicken Sundays.
I couldn’t resist the heritage pork chop which was awesome. Great flavor, juicy and leaned towards German flavors with spatzle, apple and mustard.
I can never give up chocolate so I ordered that though later I wish I had gotten one of the fruitier options. The chocolate had a thin layer of gelatin that made it flexible. It was… unexpected.
The Meyer lemon tart was very successful on the other hand. We finished this only to wish we saved a little room for another cocktail.
The mignardises were delicious macarons and sweet sesame crackers.
Fifty Seven has a stage and lounge downstairs. We wanted to check out the live music but sadly they went on break just as we got there. We’ll have to go again. I wouldn’t mind catching some snacks and a drink at the bar then heading to the lounge for music.
It’s also very close to Bestia so you can do an one-two punch bar crawl.
Update – the next chef, Josh Drew, begins on June 5.