The Year on a Plate
1.At the new Globe Venice, whole chickens are roasted to order. The recipes vary on a daily basis, but I liked the one with a verjus sauce and aligot potatoes (mashies with tons of fontina cheese). 72 Market St., Venice; (310) 392-8720.
2. The classy new takeout café Clementine offers several candidates for best dish, including a cookie with a layer of peanut butter somehow piped inside it, and a bland but dangerously addictive apricot bun. And then there’s the liverwurst sandwich — a fluffy wurst on good white bread with lightly pickled onions. (It’s not, they admit, their biggest seller.) 1751 Ensley Ave.; (310) 552-1080.
3. The long-roasted, deeply caramelized, falling-apart pot roast at Jar. 8225 Beverly Blvd.; (323) 655-6566.
4. Gino Angelini’s new Angelini Osteria features home-style Italian cooking, but no home cook I’ve met could produce such an elegant and profoundly simple entrée as his roasted snow-white cuttlefish with sautéed chard and rustic bruschetta. 7313 Beverly Blvd.; (323) 297-0070.
5. Spurned as a ladies’ luncheon item, quiche can be quite the sensuous indulgence. I learned this anew at Beaujolais Boulangerie, where buttery pastry is filled with quivering, creamy, eggy custards — spinach, or the classic ham-and-Gruyère quiche Lorraine. 1661 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; (323) 255-5133.
6. Zax’s talented 23-year-old chef, Brooke Williamson, sautéed pretty pink, sweet tiger shrimp, then draped them over pillowy little ravioli stuffed with puréed carrot. 11604 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; (310) 571-3800.
7. Chef Josie Le Balch, at her eponymous Josie, tossed wide, chewy ribbons of pappardelle pasta with a light, fresh tomato sauce, slices of rabbit breast stuffed with tomato and wilted greens, shreds of darker haunch meat, strips of intense oven-dried tomato, and big porous shards of morel mushroom. 2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 581-9888.
8. Most of the tapas at Cobras & Matadors are small wallops of flavor. My favorite, were I forced to choose, would probably be the baked black mussels with spicy Spanish chorizo — though I’d hate to miss the humble fried potatoes, which are crusty on the outside, fluffy and moist within, and served with both a heady aioli and the spicy red chile mojo picon. 7615 Beverly Blvd.; (323) 932-6178.
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