New Chefs Spruce Up the Menu at This Silver Lake Standby

Lemon curd tart with blueberries and candied riceEXPAND
Lemon curd tart with blueberries and candied rice
Katherine Spiers

Forage has been offering wholesome, hearty lunches and dinners to Silver Lakers with more money than time (the ingredients are high-quality; the order-at-the-counter system is speedy) since it opened in early 2010. Seven years on, the owners are mixing things up with two new chefs at the helm.

Mel Canlas and Ria Dolly Barbosa are now in the kitchen, slowly adding their signatures to the menu of mainstays, such as roast chicken with two sides (like beets with boiled eggs or kale with cheese and breadcrumbs), the avocado sandwich and the expansive pastry case. Canlas has been there for a number of months, and Barbosa just started this week, after working her delicious magic at Go Get Em Tiger in Los Feliz.

Truth be told, the food at Forage had gotten a little stale over the years, but it seems this new leadership has invigorated the restaurant (and its cooks). Canlas has added some Filipino-inspired dishes to the menu, like a chicken adobo bowl with a fried egg and lugaw (rice porridge) with chicken and fava beans.

Vegetables, more vegetables, and mac and cheeseEXPAND
Vegetables, more vegetables, and mac and cheese
Katherine Spiers

The desserts have improved as well: There's a sense of whimsy to them now in items such as a lemon curd tart with blueberries and candied rice and a "s'mores parfait," which packs all three elements of the camping classic into a little glass jar, now in pudding form.

Of course, you don't want to miss some of the classics, like that decadent, soulful macaroni and cheese. But every dish now comes on heavy ceramic plates, the physical embodiment of Forage's new outlook. The restaurant is treating itself right, and we all benefit.

3823 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; (323) 663-6885, foragela.com.

Strawberry galette
Strawberry galette
Eugene Ahn of Forage Restaurant in Silver Lake

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