Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4) — and probably beyond, at this rate — we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
42: Steak Tartare Tacos at MessHall.
The historic Brown Derby space in Los Feliz (and former Louise's Trattoria) recently debuted as MessHall, a hip new restaurant with chef Keith Silverton (no relation, by the way, to Nancy) behind the stoves and owned by Rob Serritella. The theme is modern “camp cafeteria cooking,” set in a space that might be best described as certain scenes of Moonrise Kingdom transposed into restaurant form.
Among the repurposed “new American” creations, such as fritter-fried calamari with tartar sauce, thick hog chops slathered with tabasco butter, and celery root mash covered in short rib jus, there are the steak tartare tacos — an appetizer which turns out to not be the fusion-y disaster it sounds to be.
The “taco shell” is in fact a crisp of Grana Padano cheese bent into a concave shape, and plumped out with a classically prepared steak tartare cured with vinegar and lime. It's a clever turn inspired by practicality: The Parmesan adds salt and crunch without being as heavy as a slice of toasted bread, while also providing a handheld means by which to consume the beefy mixture. It's not exactly Camp Granada fare, but it's the most fun we've had with our food since we were constructing log cabins of out fish sticks.
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.
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