A James Beard and Michelin star-winning chef Michael Cimarusti returns to downtown Los Angeles with Best Girl located at the luxury boutique Ace Hotel DTLA. Cimarusti is known for his acclaimed restaurants Providence and Connie and Ted’s.
Best Girl is an ideal pre-theater or downtown Los Angeles dining venue, offering a relaxed vibe and menus crafted towards farm-fresh comfort foods. Located on the ground floor of the Ace Hotel, it was one of the tallest buildings in Los Angeles in the 1920s.
Dining at Best Girl is a great people-watching spot. The wine list includes French sparkling wines, French and Californian chardonnays, rosé and select red wines. A nice selection of rotating draft beers, dry ciders and low-to-no alcohol beverages round out Clay Wendel’s beverage list.
Fun fall cocktails include an “Indi Rose” made with gin, rose water and sweet vermouth. The “LA Intervention” is a tequila-based cocktail with a citrusy pamplemousse liqueur, and the “Osaka Sour” is made with Iwai Blue Label whisky and spiced plum wine syrup.
Thick grilled slices of Bub and Grandma’s bread arrived with silver containers of herb butter that offered a pleasing pesto finish and another container with Sicillian anchovies. A mixed garden salad with a handful of small yellow and red tomatoes, sliced radish and baked croutons glistening in olive oil. A light buttermilk dressing made this salad extra special.
Another winning salad was the sugar snap peas tossed with thinly sliced radishes and red onions. Chopped hazelnuts tossed with Italian parsley and a pleasing crème fraîche dressing finished the salad nicely.
The Lumache alla Norma, one of their most popular dishes and one of the highlights of the evening, is comprised of Sicillian-style large macaroni-shaped pasta, dark purple eggplant, chopped simmered tomatoes and a generous shaving of pecorino cheese.
We also enjoyed the grilled Jidori chicken with purslane, salsa verde and charred lime halves. A great plate to share with others at the table, the purslane adds a healthy greens to the dish. Its bright, lemony flavor enhances chicken or fish, plus the green leaves offer high omega-3s. Purslane is said to have high levels of melatonin to promote a good night’s sleep.
Best Girl’s Pastry Chef Crisi Echiverri, who is Cimarusti’s wife, recently updated the dessert menu with her take on Eton Mess. Echiverri’s “Mess O’ Berries” is made with crisp meringue, whipped cream and sweet farmers market berries.
Cimarusti offers a Sunday Supper menu representative of his favorite meals he makes at home for his family and friends. Through the end of the month, enjoy a three-course meal for $35 with an optional wine pairing for an additional $18. One week, it might be a pizzieria salad and charred Jimmy Nadello peppers, and the next course might be chicken and ricotta meatballs with house-made spaghetti and garlic bread. Finish with tiramisu that includes a shot of Sambuca.
Best Girl is one of the best culinary options for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner when in downtown Los Angeles. $$-$$$ 927 S. Broadway (213)235-9660.
Read this review also in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News .