Friday, May 25, 2007

LOU, Hollywood, CA

Lou is a tiny wine bar/restaurant located in an unassuming strip mall in Hollywood. Although you would never know it from the outside due to the thick black curtain shielding it from the outside world, Lou is a dimly lit, cozy, and friendly place where all you need is a glass of wine and some artesian cheese to make the experience complete. Although it was relatively unknown when we visited, it was just written up in LA Weekly’s “99 Essential Restaurants” so I’m sure this hidden gem won’t remain hidden much longer.

Charcuterie and artisanal cheese plank
Dates, dried apricot with walnuts, candied almonds
How could we go to a wine bar and not order some cheese?
This "plank" had a nice assortment of soft, semi-hard, and hard cheese, which went perfectly with our wine flight of Biodynamic reds: (1) a Light-bodied, nay, ethereal Pinot Noir, (2) a dry, slightly earthy Bordeaux, and (3) a complex, smoky super Tuscan. We could have just stopped here and been happy....but we had to order more. Gotta give our fans what they want, right?

Pig Candy
Yes, you read that right. Pig Candy. Whenever anyone talks about Lou, they mention the Pig Candy. And not only because of the name, but because it really is worthy of being called their signature snack. This candy is made from Lou’s house-smoked, thick-cut bacon, which is then baked with lots of brown sugar. The result is a sweet, salty, and almost maple-like confection that is wonderful eaten by itself or with a sip of wine. As LA Weekly said, “You want some of this stuff. Really, you do.”

House-smoked duck breast
Hook’s 10 year cheddar, toast

The Hook's 10 year cheddar was one of our faves on the plank, and having it melted all over smoky duck and crunchy toast was an ultimate treat. This dish had the perfect combination of texture - creamy, chewy and crunchy, and a great balance of flavor - salty, rich, with a bit of sweetness from the duck.

Macoroni and Cheese

Just as the name suggest, there was nothing particularly fancy about Lou’s version of macaroni and cheese – just a downright classic version with only the best and freshest ingredients. Very cheesy, piping hot, with a nice and crunchy panko breadcrumb topping…classic and perfect.

Niman Ranch Flat Iron Steak
new potatoes, wild arugula salad
Although simple, this steak was incredible flavorful and cooked perfectly. The sauce they used for the marinade and glaze had a surprising amount of flavor and a nice balance of spices.

Valrhona pot au chocolat
whipped cream, peaches

Although we normally prefer warm chocolate desserts, this rich, solid, custard-like dessert was exactly as the name suggests – a pot of decadent chocolate.

Strawberry-rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream
I must admit – this wouldn’t have been my first choice in desserts. But our waitress, a friend of those accompanying us, brought us one because apparently we simply had to try it. And wow, was she right. While Suni scrapped up every last bite of the pot au chocolate, I concentrated my efforts on this warm, tart, and gooey dessert and savored every bite. The crumble floating on top was incredible – definitely one of the best cobblers I’ve ever had.

1 comment:

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