It was the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, the holidays may be long over, but what's even sadder is that DineLA is over, and we're already dreaming of the next one. Between January 19th and February 1st, we were able to make it to 3 wonderful participating restaurants, including Night + Market and Hakkasan (sorry, we don't have a review for that one, but it was great!). We also made it to Alimento-- one of Silverlake's glorious new eateries. One of LA Magazine's Top 10 New Restaurants in 2014, Alimento serves up Southern Italian cooking by chef Zach Pollack. Definitely a hotspot for LA's cool kids, Alimento's cuisine lives up the hype, managing to be delicious, filling, and unpretentious. For $30/person, we enjoyed a 3-course dinner and excellent service in an intimate, yet lovely setting.
But we must warn you: though the overall experience was wonderful, there are some "peculiar" happenings that may confuse even the most sophisticated restaurant-goer. First, they charge for water. When they asked if we wanted still, sparking, or tap, we asked for tap. They brought us a glass bottle of, what we assumed, was water filled from the tap, and proceeded to charge us $1.50/person for it, which seemed a little cheap for a nice restaurant. Second, they add a line on the bill for a potential tip for the kitchen staff, making them one of the only restaurants in the city to do so. While their explanation certainly makes some sense, it can throw many for a loop, and caused us to question why they don't absorb the costs of paying their kitchen staff more (unlike waiters, who are paid less hourly wages because they work off tips). Now that you've been forewarned, let's get to the meal:
For the first course (one dish/person), we ordered the Cracked Farro Salad and the Scallop Crudo, which were both fantastic. The farro salad felt healthy with all of the raw vegetables, but was quite filling and tasty. Pecorino gave it a creaminess, while the bits of roasted tomato were a lovely addition. We both really enjoyed the Scallop crudo, which was cooked perfectly, and the Potato Passata (some sort of potato puree) was incredibly delicious. The portion size could have been a bit larger, though (it made more sense if this had been a 6-course tasting, but for a 3-course, they could have spared a bit more).
The second round consisted of Fusili with smoked brisket and Baccala, which is a salted cod dish. The fusili was one of those dishes that springs to mind when you think of delicious, rustic, Italian cooking. I would eat it every night if I could. It was incredible-- rich, flavorful, but not overpowering. The Baccala was also fantastic. The salted fish was hidden among mashed potatoes and some sort of tomato sauce, for a dish that was salty, fishy, and really yummy. It wasn't like anything I'd ever had before.
The desserts were just as good as the rest of the meal. The almond cake had just the right amount of sweetness, while the cake was moist and flavorful. I enjoyed the combination of the warm cake and blueberries with the cold ice cream. The rice pudding was also wonderful-- it had a great consistency, and was sweet and nutty. By this point, we were so full that we could barely finish! Overall, the meal was fantastic. Everything tasted amazing, and we're looking forward to our next visit!