Tasting the limits

[historic urn]The Tasting Kitchen – One of a number of restaurants I’ll encounter in LA whose menus are decidedly not designed for the typical course-by-course procedural, but rather for random sampling and plate-sharing. There are some dishes that look like “main courses” just based on their price, but frankly the very form of this sort of menu dissuades putting so many of one’s consumptive eggs in a single basket. I’m not sure if this is the intent or not, but it seems hard to understand what they’re doing here otherwise.

Some plates are a single idea (charcuterie, cheese, oyster), others a brief, tapa-like notion, and still others (mostly the aforementioned expensive items) are a more standard sort of composed dish. It’s a really fun way to eat, especially as – with a few exceptions – rigid adherence to completion while ordering is not required; one can order, eat, order, eat, order again, and so forth, pending the restaurant’s tolerance for table-hoarding.

Despite a clientele that tends upscale hipster and a deceptively simple yet “design-y” interior, the room has as relaxed a vibe as the food, which is very well-executed and yet really all about taste rather than preparation. (Given the fundamental simplicity of most plates, it kind of has to be.) I like this place..

Carballo 2008 Lanzarote Negramoll (Canary Islands) – Diffident. Never gets around to developing. It may be mild TCA that’s below my threshold, it may just be a muted or otherwise damaged wine, but there’s nothing on which to base a note here. (11/10)


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