DTLA: Checking Out Faith and Flower
Faith and Flower opened a couple of months ago in Downtown Los Angeles. I’ve now been several times but still need to go back for lunch and brunch. Until then, let’s check out their offerings for dinner.
My favorite way to eat is to order a bunch of appetizers. Faith and Flower doesn’t have a shortage of must-orders. The sauteed Monterey calamari which turned out be calamari toast was great as is the uni toast. But which to get? Why, both of course if you’re a seafood fan. There’s also crab toast. We may not have foie gras in California anymore but regular duck liver isn’t illegal! Try the duck liver at Faith and Flower. It’s been so long since I had rich, sigh-inducing foie that I was quite happy with the substitute. Forget faux gras when you can have the real thing. Duck liver for the win!
In the style of an old fashioned cocktail, the Harry Winston uses Japanese whisky and Japanese black sugar, kuro sato. If you like brown, bitter and stirred but are looking for something just a little bit different, this would be a good one to try.
Harry Winston – Japanese blended whiskey, King’s Ginger liqueur, Kuro Sato, teapot bitters, flamed orange twist
As mentioned, the duck liver mousse tarts are the way to go if you’re craving a certain California-banned liver.
I couldn’t resist the deviled eggs which are spiced with Korean chili and kimchi. If you spy them on the happy hour menu, get ’em! Or they also make a good appetizer.
One of the hottest drinks at Faith and Flower are is the limited supply English Milk Punch. Only a few are made daily as there’s a limited amount of the milk clarification. Although it’s very boozy with 6 different spirits, the rum tends to dominate. It ends on a sweet licorice note from the absinthe and pineapple.
English Milk Punch – Smith and Cross rum, Appleton rum, Bacardi 8 rum, Bulleit bourbon, Batavia Arrack, Pernod absinthe, pineaple sencha tea, milk clarification
In the same category of luscious, creamy things we miss, many have turned to sea urchin (uni). Lavishly topped toast makes us think this could be an ideal lunch. Or if you’re like me, one of the many joyful small plates we shared.
I’ve been drinking a lot of Angels Flight lately. Like a revved up daiquiri, this drink is amped up with yuzu, a Japanese citrus. Bonus, it’s usually the drink I order from the happy hour menu.
Angels Flight – Denizen rum, yuzu, palm sugar, kaffir lime leaf
On the lighter side is the chicory and Asian pear salad. For those moments where you need veggies and are surprised how good they are.
The oxtail agnolotti has reached cult status at Faith and Flower. The pillowy agnolotti are filled with tender oxtail. I enjoyed the additional crunch from the fried beef tendon “chicharrone.”
If you didn’t get enough veggies from the salad, there’s also the tree-like broccolini. Loved the sprinkling of crushed peppers to add a hint of spice. This plate isn’t anything if you’ve ever been confronted by a plate of Chinese broccoli at dim sum. Just cut it up unless you enjoy sparking conversation with your bar hop partners of your veggie cigar.
A few years ago, I fell in love with Zirbenz stone pine liqueur. I order any drink I find with it. The brown, bitter, stirred cocktail riffs with mezcal, Cherry Herring and Zirbenz. Despite the modernist bent with the tea vapor, it’s actually a very familiar drink. I’d like to think of it as a Manhattan variation.
Olvera – Nuestra Soledad mezcal, Cherry Herring, Zirbenz stone pine liqueur, Royal Combier, Faith and Flower orange bitters, lapsang souchong vapor
The whole Tai snapper is steamed in seaweed, giving it a fun beachy feel. We ordered the baked multi-grain rice to go with it but I would have preferred plain white rice. Next time I have to try the egg noodles, garganelli and the pizzas.
The thick cut wheat noodles are my favorite thing on the menu. With a lamb that’s scented with cumin and braised, I have obsessed over getting this only for myself. But I have always shared this dish (more people love lamb than I think!) and always want a little more.
If the Harry Winston was similar to an Old Fashioned, the Montana Club could be along the vein of a Manhattan variation. Faith and Flower uses their own aromatic bitters along with armangnac. The absinthe and Fernet-Branca is balanced out with the sweet vermouth as well as currants. I would be hard pressed to pick between the Harry Winston and this drink but perhaps Harry would be a good start to an evening while the Montana Club is great for sipping and mulling over things.
Montana Club – armagnac, Fernet-Branca, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, absinthe, currants, Faith and Flower aromatic bitters
The chocolate cremeaux was beautiful and very fun to mix and match the flavors.
You don’t have to be VIP to get the mignardies. You can order the board of everything from chocolate biscuits shaped like keys to madelines to marshmallows. I loved the honeycomb. I would suggest eating it all and not hoarding even the wrapped chocolate balls… lest you end up with melted chocolate in your handbag like I did. Eat it all!