Glendale, April 28, 2011—WE THINK A LOT of this small husband-and-wife restaurant off the beaten track down here in Los Angeles. Zagat gives it a 27 for its kitchen, and I don't think that's an overestimate. The food's a little heavy on presentation for my taste, but never over the top. Sometimes there's maybe one or two ingredients too many, but they always seem to justify themselves. I like the place.
Tonight we began with beet-juice "gazpacho" as an amuse-geule, then went on to beautifully dressed green salads with discreet shavings of excellent Parmesan cheese hiding among the leaves.
I then had a pork chop, well salted, cooked to rosy perfection, served on a bed of tiny beans with braised kale and chorizo, and accompanied by very crisp-fried pig's ears garnished with green grapes — this latter item actually making a lot of sense.
Dessert was a buttermilk panna cotta. Buttermilk ain't my thing, but panna cotta certainly is, and this was first-rate, topped with a thin layer of not caramelized sugar but frozen cranberry juice crystals. Excellent; excellent.
Sauvignon blanc, Sherwood (New Zealand); Pinot noir, Sean Minor (Carneros); Orange Muscat, Quady "Electra" (all in the glass, vintages unknown, very nicely paired with the food)
Bashan, 3459 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale; (818) 541-1532