Favorite Dish: Bacon-Wrapped Matzoh Balls at The Gorbals

Bacon-Wrapped Matzoh Balls, Mustard Aioli, Fresh-grated Horseradish

The food interwebs has been all aflutter lately about gastropubs – myself not excluded. The craze over savory, rich and salty dishes only helps the shared, small plates-style of serving guests become more commonplace in a city (that’s us, Los Angeles) that prides itself on accessibly delicious food. And if not, then everyone at the table gets a taste without the commitment.

All this harkens me back to a dish I had earlier this fall at The Gorbals. (Better late than never.) Indeed, it was the standout dish not only because it was well-executed, but also evokes a sort of blasphemous, tongue-in-cheek humor. Though I’m not Jewish in practice nor ethnicity, my name is still Esther on the phone and I spend my 9-5 outnumbered by non-kosher Jewish colleagues. It goes without saying, then, that most of them now know of this dish that they can only get in Downtown LA, and preferably not on a Thursday night, should they favor avoiding the Art Walk crowds (go early, should you favor being a part of that crowd yourself).

It’s not in a soup, but the balls thrive on their own as piping-hot, juicy spheres of ground matzo and chicken stock. Of course, they are all taken to that level with the tender strips of bacon that make the orbit. The globes of matzo sit atop mustard aioli and are briefly showered with fresh-grated horseradish, which helps keep things from resting upon the bacon’s laurels by packing a couple punches in those couple of ways. The aioli really is perfect.

I will return for these and one of their many solid cocktails that rotate their chalkboard. Besides, there are many other small plates on Ilan Hall’s menu I have to try. It doesn’t mean that they can’t make for a big meal.

Mon – Wed: 6 PM – 12 AM
Thur – Sat: 6 PM – 2 AM
Closed Sunday

The Gorbals
501 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
213.488.3408