Koreatown: First Look at Here’s Looking at You
Here’s Looking at You recently opened in Koreatown by Chef Jonathan Whitener and business partner Lien Ta whom he met at Animal. I was excited to see the bar program was put together by Allan Katz and Danielle Crouch, formerly of Cana Rum Bar. Chef Jonathan was the chef de cuisine at Animal, one of my favorite restaurants. Lien used to run the front of the house at Animal. I also remember when she was a food writer and then transitioned to working at Picca. I love keeping up with our Los Angeles food community. The flavors of HLAY’s menu reminds me how diverse and how wonderful Los Angeles is– there’s no other city where I want to live.
I always loved the menu descriptions from Allan and these cocktails tell a story. Actually, they tell many stories. I had a hard time deciding what to drink first though I almost wish I got the $26 Mai Tai. Because why not? But no, I was drawn to the Psychic Reader which boasted of a full ounce of Angostura bitters. Also, I’ve been curious about the vegan egg white substitute, aquafaba which is just the liquid from a can of garbanzo beans. People have been making amazing stuff with this liquid which has a very good texture. I enjoyed this drink immensely.
Psychic Reader – Angostura bitters, lime, mango nectar, coconut cream, aquafaba
When it’s summer time, I try to eat as much tomatoes and corn as I can. I just love the sweet vegetables together. This heirloom tomatoes salad was fantastic. I loved the cheese and the tender and contrasting chicory.
Everyone said we had to get the beef tartare. This one was very interesting with slightly bitter vegetables like cress and radish. Despite our initial fear it’d be too spicy (okay, maybe it was just my fear), it was perfectly balanced and hit all the umami notes.
We had room for one more dish. I was eyeing any of the seafood dishes but in particular the soft shell crab and the prawns. But I’m really glad we went out of my eating comfort zone and grabbed the sturgeon porridge. The buttermilk! It was tangy-tart and was very interesting. I hadn’t been so excited for a new flavor combination in a long time. I just wanted to keep eating this porridge and it was almost a bonus to have such big chunks of tender fish.
I’ll definitely be back soon to try more of the cocktails and food.
© The Minty 2016