My wife and I look forward to when we dine out with my cousin & her husband. Both of them are hardened “foodies”. Combined with the fact that they are voracious readers, I’m constantly amazed at how much they know about the overall LA dining landscape.
Like us, they value good food over other characteristics of a restaurant (e.g., view, ambiance and sometimes service). They understand that it takes time and effort to create that extraordinary culinary experience and for that, they are willing to make a few sacrifices.
We also understand that each plate is meant to be shared with everyone at the table. That means you have to take a reasonably sized portion and be willing to allow the rest to be shared. Some people I know aren’t willing to do this.
With all this in mind, we visited the Lazy Ox Canteen in Downtown Los Angeles.
We began the evening with caramelized cauliflower and pig ear chicharonnes. The caramelized cauliflower is served with toasted pine nuts, chili flakes and lime. The combined flavors worked well for this dish. It was a great start for the evening.
The pig ear chicharonnes satisfied my desire for some protein. They were served in long thick strips that were evenly deep fried. The pig ear chicharonnes were very tasty and meatier than I expected. Tomatillo and harissa dipping sauces were served with the dish. Both sauces were on the mild side.
I ordered the yellowtail as one of my plates to share. It arrived sashimi-style and was beautifully presented with flash fried cilantro, persian cucumbers and sun dried tomato vinaigrette. For me, it was the great dish to welcome me into spring.
My wife ordered the shrimp fritters. This dish could have been called shrimp corndogs as the appearance was similar to a skinny corndog. Red and green chile sauces accompanied this dish. While this dish was tasty, it was not among my favorites for the evening.
The pan seared salmon arrived next. This fish was cooked to perfection. It was tender, moist and flaked away with a fork. I was happy that they served it with the salmon skin intact; it was crispy and full of flavor.
I was delighted that moules marinieres was one of our selected dishes. The dish consisted of mussels, clams, fennel, sun dried tomato and white wine sauce loaded with butter and garlic. The wine sauce was over the top and we ordered some additional bread to mop it up.
The squid ink pasta had lots of seafood (clams, mussels, shrimp) mixed with fettuccine noodles. I thought the sauce had a lot of flavor and it was one of my favorites for the evening.
The rice pudding was thick and fortunately not overly rich. It had a creamy consistency with a vanilla-cinnamon flavor. The melted caramel sauce is what made the dessert. Otherwise, I think I would not find the flavors that interesting.
My wife loved the butterscotch pudding: vanilla pudding with caramel sauce and toasted graham cracker crumbs over whipped cream. Need I say more?
With the number of small plates available at the Lazy Ox Canteen, it’s a great way to experience a lot of great dishes without breaking the bank.
- Lazy Ox Canteen
- 241 S San Pedro Ave, Los Angeles (Little Tokyo), Ca 90012; (213) 626-5299
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LazyOxCanteen
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LazyOxCanteen