Now that it’s summer in Los Angeles, there’s a ton going on all over town. And when it comes to food events, it’s enough to make your head spin. But you want to play it smart with your time and funds, because no one’s got patience for fluff.
Fortunately, I’ve narrowed it down to the best four events you’ll want to attend this month. They’re all on the weekend, so you’ll have enough time to make your trek. Whether it’s raising money to combat childhood hunger, celebrating Fatherhood the best way possible, eating the best tacos in the city or carousing the famous Rose Bowl for the best bites in Los Angeles, June is shaping up to be an exciting time to be in L.A. Let’s get started. Continue reading →
It’s been a few years since Pitfire Pizza had found a special place in my heart. Though I first became surprisingly enamored with the well built-out chain starting with the unveiling of their Culver City location, I was surprised to learn that they’re actually celebrating the 15th anniversary of the first, their North Hollywood location, this year.
Their quality is ensured by a well sized, manageable menu that joins the locations together. If you only order pizza, you’re actually missing a big part of their appeal. They always have excellent vegetable sides and well executed pastas to cover all their bases. And now, you’ll have fall flavors to look forward to on your next visit, starting with their Roasted Pumpkin Pizza with kale and pumpkin seeds.
Since Jason Neroni left Osteria La Buca, Hollywood’s been feeling a little blue since he was the center of some of the best Italian the neighborhood ever knew. It’s a great thing, then, that he’s scheduled to make a comeback with his and Paul Hibler’s own Superba Snack Bar (nay, not so great that it’s all the way in Venice). But we can take advantage of the pop-up going on this week, however, at the West Hollywood location of Pitfire Pizza.
The pop-up at Hibler’s Pitfire is essentially a preview of what’s to come in about a month at Superba Snack Bar, which will be located at 933 Rose in Venice. So check the menu below (subject to change) and hop on over to the Fairfax District in the next couple of days:
I’ll get right to the point. Let’s count the reasons, shall we?
Delicious, housemade charcuterie: Check. Fresh, housemade pasta: Check. Flavorful and tender-to-the-fork meatballs: Check. Tasty Neopolitan pizzas: Check. Former Porchetta and 10 Downing (NYC) chef Jason Neroni in the kitchen: Check.
I had the opportunity to try all this and more at a recent media lunch and came out glad that I played hooky devoted work PTOÂ to doing so. Nothing is lost, however, on the starters. The ricotta croquettas topped with a touch of truffle honey haven’t lost their touch – still fluffy as ever -Â in the changeover. The excellent salumi that came out included a chicken liver and pork pate, porchetta di testa, terrina campagnola – and last, but certainly not least, a whipped lardo.Â I couldn’t get enough of thatÂ lardo, so of course I couldn’t complain when it also appeared on the lightly fried green tomatoes. But the meatballs! The meatballs!Â How unordinary they were, what with their flavor and texture.Â They were really divine.Â In between these bites were smoked and extra meaty olives and pickles as well as salted, pork fat almonds.
ï»¿Only after all of this did we really start lunch.
The pasta was delicious. Not oversauced, not too simplistic withÂ just enough going on to keep things cohesive,Â interesting and more than enjoyable.Â The freshness of the angelotti, bucatini and parpadelle were quite as good as any I’ve had, with those pastas being made the same day in a specially designated “pasta room” (which doubles as a private dining room housing the chef’s table) just upstairs.
Feeling like a sweet-ish pasta? Go with the Sweet Corn Angelotti with Dungeness Crab, Lemon Basil and Butter. In the mood for a heavier variety? The Rabbit Parpadelle with Castelvetrano Olives and Porchini Mushrooms is also excellent. The Bucatini Carbonara comes withÂ an irresistable poached eggÂ and is seasoned with Marscarpone, Guanciale and Black Pepper, which gives this pasta a delicious kick.
The pizza is delicious, though I must admit that my favorite tends to be the simplest variety – appropriate named “The Classic” at Osteria La Buca: Mozzarella, tomato, sea salt and basil is all you’ll find on this one. But the fennel sausage variety with ricotta, pickled jalapenos and garlic paste is also game. It all depends on what you like.
I must say, though, don’t forget dessert. Especially the refreshing Basil Ice Cream with Sauteed Strawberries. The Chocolate Budino with sea salt also stands on its own, and dare I say its simplicityÂ gives Mozza’s a run for their money?
Osteria La Buca really is a delightful place to dine, with plenty of solid options. With its recent, refresherÂ remodel setting the frameworkÂ for JasonÂ Neroni’sÂ arrival, it’s apparent that they have aimed to step up their game. While I found the former La Buca warm and charming, it seems that Chef Neroni has tightened things up and dishes come out a bit more refined. Delicioso.