I have reviewed hotels and talked about vacations, but very rarely have I written about food and restaurants here on the blog. However, a very little known fact about me is that I was a Yelp Elite for years before I was married and had kids. I would take photos of every dish during fine dining and pretend to be an expert telling the difference between sous vide and poached chicken and write about them as if I was a food critic (how disgustingly LA and pretentious right?) Anyways, I digress. The inspiration today is about a new restaurant I discovered recently called – Destroyer LA, before I begin, you know when a retired foodie actually write a piece about food, it is gonna be good.
Contrary to its seemingly masculine and vicious name, this place is anything but. Perhaps it serves as an oxymoron to name it so. The restaurant is tucked in the industrial part of Culver City, next to many tech and media and fashion head quarters and only opens M-F 8am to 3pm tailored to the hipsters lunch crowd. The entrance is very unassuming, had it not been the intentional asymmetrical sign, one would have easily passed it. Once you got inside, a vast and bright open kitchen/cash register/coffee bar awaits you along with a wall projecting the daily menu on the right and some limited indoor seating to the left.
The decor is minimal and the food is modern, the plating is done on earthy, heavy ceramics that perfectly compliments the food itself. Even the coffee mugs were clay and ceramic dressed in little sweaters to keep warm. My friend and I weren’t sure what to expect when we saw the plating, however one bite into the food and we were hooked! It was flavorful with all the gastronomic elements combined yet still kept the original integrity of the ingredients. There were lots of nuts and grains mixed with perfectly charred young veggies but also decent amount of meat.
Beef Tartare hidden under radishes and with pickled mushrooms mixed with something called smoked egg cream was something I have never had before and I have had plenty of tartares. Chicken Confit came with yukon gold potato that was cooked to perfection. Chicken was tender and falls apart at the fork, mixed with roasted lettuce, yuzu and hazelnut topped by an extremely fancy cheesy thing that kept us guessing what is was. Rice Porridge topped with caramelized broccoli, puffed rice, burnt onion was the perfect comfort food on a cold rainy day. We pretty much cleaned all the plates.
What do you think of this review? Are you captivated by the stark minimal imagery and the art like presentation of food? Name one restaurant that you have been to recently that completely blew you away so that I can check out if I’m in your hood and my NY readers, please give me some recommendations because we are coming to you!