On The Town with Richard
By Richard Alton Stermer
This week’s outing takes us on an adventure to LA’s Eataly. A large muti level retail store featuring all things from the Italian culinary world. Found on the Northeast corner of the Century City Westfield Mall, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067,
It is a sprawling 3 story emporium with separate sections dedicated to pastries, cheese, meats and wine. Inside are a number of restaurants including the rooftop Terra.
Access to the restaurant is via an elevator on Avenue of the Stars or a wonderful spiral staircase made of steel and concrete that begins on the 2ndfloor of the market. If you’re in heels it’s a bit of a hike but a fun part of the experience and work towards the dessert you’re going to have to finish off your dinner. Make your reservations in advance as the restaurant is not large and fills up quickly. On the day of, in the afternoon, midweek, for a table for 2, I was left with something at 5:00 pm or 8:30 pm. I chose the 5:00 pm. We arrived to find an empty rooftop and a large open grill before the host stand. After a brief walk, we were walked to a nondescript table near the entrance. I asked if we might have something closer to the windows and we were soon accommodated with a better table and a nice view facing Northeast over Beverly Hills. Our waiter, Walter, very affable and easy going, recommends a blended red the Ziggurat Lunelli and we’re off and running. We begin our meal with the Burriata E Barbabietole. A Buffalo mozzarella with coal roasted beets, a sprig of basil and a drizzle of olive oil. This was not a disappointment but the star was the toasted bread lightly salted and spread with olive oil. (On investigation I find that the store grinds their own flour and bakes their own bread).
We followed this with the Rigatoni all Norma, housemade Rigatoni, Smoked Tomato, Eggplant, Smoked Ricotta. A delicious al dente pasta made special by the smoked fresh tomato and eggplant. The pasta was lightly more al dente than I would prefer but a much better option than being overcooked. After this we had the Agnello, Colorado Lamb, White Moustache Yogurt and Mint with a side of Asparagi, Grilled Asparagus, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon. Both are brought to the table, fresh from the grill, on wooden cutting boards. Perfect for sharing, my guest and I confer that we would not be able to eat entire orders of any of the food on our own. The lamb is a perfect medium rare as “recommended by the chef” and the asparagus is not overcooked with more lemon than suits my taste, but they didn’t ask. (Have I told you about my chance conversation with an international asparagus man who told me that the U.S. is not willing to pay enough to get the premium asparagus so it goes to other countries? I now keep that in mind whenever and wherever I come across asparagus).
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By now the sun has set and I’m looking at a nice fire pit surrounded by a padded sofa and chairs. We make our dessert selection Frangiapane alle mele almond cake, poached apples, Moscato creme anglaise. I ask our server if we might be able to decamp to the firepit for our dessert and he says that it shouldn’t be a problem and before we know it we’re there, fireside. The dessert was delicious, reminiscent of the ever popular butter cake so prevalent on many menus these days. Not exceptional but a good solid B with a special nod to the crème anglaise. I would definitely dine here again as the overall experience was excellent and very enjoyable. $$$
Photography: Richard Alton Stermer (R. A. Stermer)
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