11. Sugar and Spice Beignets at Hatfield's.
There are myriad glorious things to find at Hatfield's, Quinn and Karen Hatfield's lovely study in elegance and culinary atavism in what was once Michel Richard's Citrus. There is the open kitchen, in which you can see the chefs in their toques (hence atavistic) cooking your dinner. There are the gorgeous plates that Quinn Hatfield constructs: the beet-cured fluke strewn like magenta ribbons across buckwheat crisps, or the charred Spanish octopus that comes nestled among paprika-spiked potatoes, or the 36-hour braised "pastrami," which is as like pastrami as it is not.
And then there are Karen Hatfield's desserts, which are reason enough to make reservations. Of the many you could order, the one that has been a fixture both at this incarnation of Hatfield's, and the former iteration on Beverly -- as well as, before that, at their restaurant Cortez in San Francisco -- are the beignets, remarkably light pillows of fried dough that come dusted with crystalized sugar rather than the more traditional powdered and rest on the plate like particularly beautiful geometry.
The beignets come also with a little bowl of Venezuelan chocolate, called a "fondue," which you should treat as a dipping sauce. Dunk the corners of the pastries into the rich bath or just drink it from the bowl if you like. You'll be presented as well with a dainty cup of something called an Earl Grey milkshake, which resembles a milkshake only if you imagine one that the queen might have ordered after parachuting into the Olympics with Daniel Craig. Tra-la.
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