Fusion with Vision
Tuna tartare? Yep. Sweet braised short ribs? You bet. Hamachi carpaccio? Of course, with ponzu gelée and citrus dust. On paper, as well as in the sleek fire-and-water motif of its design, its extreme feng shui and its Thai-basil mojitos, Celadon, which occupies the fusion-happy space once colonized by Tahiti and Yi Cuisine, is just the latest in a long line of Los Angeles small-plates restaurants — albeit one where half the dishes seem to be impaled on bamboo skewers: tuna-crunchy rice “lollipops,” Japanese tonkatsu rolled around mozzarella, hamachi wrapped around avocado. Throw in the individual ceramic spoons filled with crab and smoked salmon, and you’ve got an amusing restaurant built around a solid sake list and a full line of passed hors d’oeuvres. But the chef, Danny Elmaleh, is a solid classical-French cook grounded in both Japanese and Middle Eastern cultures — he helped reinvent the office-building canteen at Lemon Moon — and his dishes are more likely to ring changes on an Asian standard than to play in the key of sweet-hot-crunchy snicky-snacky-sticky that characterizes so much rote fusion cuisine. Celadon isn’t Matsuhisa or Chinois — it is, in fact, a cocktail lounge with decent food — but you can see the heights from here. 7910 W. Third St., L.A., (323) 658-8028.
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