Dear Mr. Gold:
I recently heard about the Quebec regional dish poutine and am dying to try it. I have had great French fries and cheese curds in Wausau, Wisconsin, but the two together with gravy or poutine sauce sounds like heaven.
—Ty H., Altadena
It must be said: Nobody will ever mistake Los Angeles for a world capital of poutine. Even if you could get really fresh cheese curds here, which you can’t, the idea of steak fries, cheese curds and the sort of dank, dark, brown gravy that rarely makes it west of the Mississippi is not the kind of thing you’d want to eat on an August afternoon. Yet Canadians, they walk among us, and they occasionally seek the food of their kind. The late Canadian Café in Monrovia was practically a colony of expatriate foods, not just poutine but butter tarts, Tim Horton coffee and salty roast chicken that is apparently irresistible to our hockey-loving friends, but alas, it has followed the trajectory of the Kings into oblivion. The Alibi Room in Culver City serves poutine to customers so sodden with Kung Fu Girl Riesling that they don’t notice they’re not eating chili fries. And Dusty’s, a Montreal import that looks like a fern bar transplanted intact from 1974, serves a fairly creditable poutine, rich and molten and dismayingly large — there always seems to be more of it when you have finished eating than there was when you started. It’s a predictably Canadian sleight of hand. 3200 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, (323) 906-1018.
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