Venice: DineLA Recap at Charcoal
I’ve been meaning to check out Charcoal Venice for a little bit now. For those familiar with Michelin-starred Melisse, Charcoal offers an opportunity to have food from one of LA’s best chefs, Josiah Citrin. He and his Chef de Cuisine Joseph Johnson have created a warm and vibrant menu of comfort food.
He told me once I needed to try the Midnight Margarita and that’s what I ordered first thing when I got to Charcoal. It’s basically a margarita with activated charcoal which turns the drink black. It doesn’t add any flavor to the drink though I’ve had drinks with charcoal before and it’s awfully gritty. Luckily the one at Charcoal is great. It’s one of their bestsellers and not just because it’s Instagram worthy.
Midnight Margarita – tequila, charcoal, lime
Although the dineLA menu had a lot of food, we still ordered a couple of extra things including bread and butter. The simplest things are the best sometimes. Really good bread and awesome butter.
I couldn’t help but think of the cabbage I had at Vernick in Philadelphia when I saw cabbage baked in embers at Charcoal. This one wasn’t as charred but it turns out my friend is into the charred bits and this small wedge was eaten very quickly.
I liked this cabbage very much. It was tender and hardly needed any sauce.
There are a couple things in life I absolutely will always order. And one of them are chicken wings. Tender and juicy.
Sometimes I think I can give up meat but never seafood. I was glad to try this crudo that had been “kissed by the coals.” The bits of puffed grain were a nice contrast to the silky fish.
We got both salads and really, there’s nothing better than the freshest of fresh veggies. Wonderful dressing on the argula and radicchio salad.
I love stewed collard greens at BBQ spots and never thought about eating collards as a salad before. I’ll have to try to recreate this beautiful salad.
I also got the Roquette drink which went really well with our food. Normally I think gin and Chartreuse would be a little in your face while eating food but the herbaceous notes from the arugula took center sage.
Roquette – gin, Chartreuse, arugula, lime
We got both the entrees to share, the Jidori chicken and prime hanger steak. In years past, I may have railed against the standard dineLA menus of chicken, steak and a veggie entree but it works when the food is actually beyond good. Such flavorful chicken and perfectly cooked steak. We were happy. There were a few sauces on the table which our server encouraged us to try but I liked the salsa verde that came with the chicken and the steak was tasty and juicy enough on its own.
To go with our steak, my friend ordered fries on the regular menu. I didn’t think we needed them but after having one (or 10), I couldn’t complain. We had a lot of food but we also had crispy fries. Call it a win.
Picking two veggie sides were easy when the choices were broccolini, baked potato or carrots. I hate carrots. Oh, I’ll eat them but not when I can have wonderful crunchy broccolini and the best baked potato on the Westside.
When I was a kid, there was a baked potato shop at the mall I was obsessed with. I don’t eat them very often any more but I could easily be persuaded to get one if they come with aged gouda like this one did. Look at that blanket of cheese! And don’t forget it also comes with fabulous butter and sour cream. So decadent. No wonder I love baked potatoes.
For dessert, we got a trio of ice cream from McConnell’s ice cream.
DineLA at Charcoal was great and now I’ll go back any time to try the regular menu.
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