I recently attended a lively tasting at START LOS ANGELES on Venice Blvd. Parked in the open space was a colorful Pico House food truck. What makes this food truck special from others is that three former chefs of Bestia partnered together and created their own culinary menu .
The owners of the food truck are Philip Moses (Bestia, Ray’s And Stark Bar, Lindy & Grundy) and Christopher Chi (Bestia, Blue Hill at Stone Barns). Their business partner Gemma Matsuyama (Bestia, Blue Hill at Stone Barns) is a master of creative desserts through her new pastry company, Heavy Cream. She makes warm Cardomom beignets sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are made with red fife and sonora wheat. She serves them with a light chai whipped cream. Another favorite was Gemma’s pink lemonade cream puffs. They had a pink, crunchy cookie top, and were light with a pleasing lemon filling.
I enjoyed four of their meat and grain bowls. Here are my favorites in order:
- Vegetarian/Vegan with ancient grains, pasilla puree (made with pasilla chilies), broccoli, swiss chard, radicchio, crispy shallots and a smooth tomato chutney. It was a spoonful of surprising textures and a balanace of sweet and savory. I loved it.
- The Union Lamb Bowl begins with slow and tender cooked harissa roasted lamb shoulder. It’s layered on top of ancient grains, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, avocado, mint and topped with goat cheese. I could eat this 5 days a week. This can be made vegetarian too!
- The Crenshaw Meatballs are made with pork and chicken. The bowl is smeared with a luscious coconut curry, then ancient grains topped with garbanzo beans, jicama slaw and crunchy honey roasted peanuts. AMAZING!
- The Robertson Short Rib bowl is a flavorful mixture of beef bacon, pasilla chilies, tomato chutney, swiss chard, radicchio, broccoli and lightly breaded shallots cooked to a crisp. It’s offered vegetarian without the beef bacon.
- Grandma’s Pork is gochujang braised pork shoulder with chrysanthemum puree, garlic confit, green kale and a light sesame vinaigrette. It was delicious.
They also serve a Mixed Grain Salad with seasonal vegetables. Their sides include pickled red onion rings with rice wine vinegar and herb quark (curds or similar to cottage cheese). They also make grilled eggplant with a balsamic vinaigrette and Greek yogurt. The house pickles include cauliflower, asparagus, fennel, garlic, and cardamom.
Be sure to order the Pico House Ugly Fruit Soda. The night I tasted the dishes, they were adding a little vodka to the soda to give it a kick. They make this soda by going to various Farmers Markets and purchasing the overripe peaches and plums. This sweet and soft fruit is served like a sangria with pulp on the bottom of the glass. It’s the quintessential summer beverage.
Welcome this talented trio on June 30 when they stop in front of Stumptown Coffee at 806 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles. The truck will drive around Los Angeles 5 days a week. Follow their location via twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the website @PICOHOUSE and @PICOHOUSELA.
A nice touch is that Pico House has a water bowl and container of dog treats for guests favorite furry friends to enjoy a snack too.