Los Angeles is a melting pot of people from all over the world. It’s a city offering a diverse range of cuisine, with many restaurants offering a fusion of flavors with some special, one-of-a-kind dishes.
As a restaurant reviewer, I’ve enjoyed some of the most unique dishes offered in California. I’ve compiled a list of out of the ordinary or strange food items that are exciting to your taste buds and innovative in execution by some very talented chefs.
Here are some of my favorite uncommon plates that are different, yet appealing to the palate –
Uni & Eggs at Ox & Son – a FNA (Fork n’ Awesome) Hospitality Group modern American restaurant opened its doors March 2015. It’s name comes from Executive chef and partner Brad Miller’s father – Gary “Ox” Miller, a butcher. Chef Miller prepares a seasonally-inspired, elevated menu alongside an extensive assortment of artisanal beer and specialty wines. One of his dishes that is out of the ordinary is Uni & Eggs- Soft Egg, Sea Urchin on black Bread. To check out other items on the menu, click here Ox & Son 1534 Montana Ave, Santa Monica (310)829-3990.
Lobster Ice Cream – You bet at Cousins Maine Lobster. Have you ever tasted Lobster ice-cream? It has hunks of fresh Maine lobster blended with familla ice cream. It’s quite good at the newer West Hollywood cafe. How about tater tots topped with warm lobster, creamy cilantro lime sauce and pico de gallo. Sit outside and watch an array of beautiful and fascinating people walk by. Read my full review to learn more about the cousins and their partnership with Shark Tank. 8593 Santa Monica Blvd. (424)204-9923.
Lamb Tongue Meatballs – The Factory Kitchen’s Executive chef/ owner Angelo Auriana makes house made meatballs made of seared lamb tongue with fregola sarda, asparagus and dolce latte. I learned after 18 years as executive chef at Selvaggio’s Valentino Ristorante, Auriana partnered with his fine dining friends Matteo and Francine Ferdinandi to create the Factory Kitchen Hospitality Group. Read my review to learn about other dishes. 1300 Factory Place #101(213)996-6000 – http://www.thefactorykitchen.com.
Rabbit Riblettes – Executive Chef BrendanCollins at Birch in Hollywood makes a tender rabbit confit with basil was wrapped in flakey phyllo dough and baked with a lovely egg wash to a perfect golden brown. Out of the oven, chef Collins tops it with a mustard seed foam, soft carrots medallions, a few cool greens, and a petite four-rib rabbit chop. It’s visually spectacular and with each bite, melts in your mouth. Read my review of other spectacular dishes at Birch. 1634 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles (323)960-3369.
Boozy Milkshakes – Westbound offers boozy milkshakes for the month of August. The new bar and eatery has partnered with neighbor Van Leeuwen Artisanal Ice Cream to make three exclusive boozy milkshakes. Try London Fog with Earl Grey ice cream and house-made lemon sorbet, Beefeater gin, and garnished with lemon curls. Another sipping shake is the Matcha Madness with vegan matcha ice cream, Rittenhouse rye, honey syrup, Amaro Montenegro and matcha powder. Lastly is the Grasshipster made with mint chip ice cream, Fernet Branca, crème de cacao and menthe, and served with mint. This beverage is a play on the 1970’s favorite “Grasshopper” cocktail. 300 S. Santa Fe Ave. (213)262-9291.
Black Pepper Pistachio Ice Cream – Rori’s Artisanal Creamery makes a California Pistachio with pieces of Roasted Pistachios and a hint of Black Pepper that really makes the flavor pop! Rori’s is located on in Santa Monica on Montana Avenue. It offers a lively atmosphere with chalk walls for the kids and interesting flavors that appeal to all ages. 910 Montana Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90403 (424) 744-8572.
Cold Brew Ice Cubes –Coffee Coffee makes Cold Brew Ice Cubes. They take Cold brew coffee and freeze it to create cold brew ice cubes. These are placed into “The Special” made with espresso, almond milk, and the cold brew ice cubes. Check out their website 1040 N. Fairfax Ave. (323)952-6590.
Kobe beef chili filled donuts – Boneyard Bistro makes a unique donut. The chefs first make homemade donuts and tops them with Cheddar cheese, pickles and onions. Check out the website 13539 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks (818)906-7427.
Matzo covered Fried Chicken – What happens when a couple of nice Jewish boys from New York decide to open a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles at The Grove? They put matzo fried chicken on the menu. Don’t expect Southern fried chicken; these brothers are from New Jersey. It’s their secret recipe in which they roll chicken into dry matzo meal and fry it. The method locks in the chicken juice, keeping the meat moist. Served with the brothers’ slightly spicy wasabi and honey dipping sauce, it is unique and delicious.Be sure to pair it with a frozen Kirin Ichiban draft beer. Read my review of other dishes. 189 The Grove Drive. (323)352-9300.
Eggplant Ice Cream – Salt & Straw’s Head Ice Cream Maker Tyler Malek turns the spotlight on the best of seasonal produce for his “Farmer’s Market” series. Flavors include eggplant honey custard; green fennel and maple; caramel corn on the cob; strawberry tomato water sherbet; and California avocado and hazelnut praline sorbet. Flavors are available by the scoop and pint. 240 N. Larchmont Blvd.(323)466-0485; 1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd., (310)310-8429 and 12180 ½ Ventura Blvd. (818)358-2890.