When illustrating the epicurean Californian playground, Mexican and farm-to-table come to mind as they’re the definately most predominant cuisines. However, within the vast cauldron of ethnicity and gastronomies, Korean food and Sushi (where would we be without the infamous California Roll?) have synonymous rank because of the widespread Asian population. Mexican/Korean fusion catapulted into the limelight when Roy Choi put the gourmet food truck movement on the map with his Korean BBQ taco truck Kogi – if you’ve ever tried his bulgogi tacos you know exactly what I’m talking about, if you have’t then what are you waiting for?
I visit friends in LA frequently and West Coast trips boast of checking out the newest and hippest food locales, since they all know cooking is in my wheelhouse. The gourmet LA scene has exploded where there’s a restaurant opening practically every month, each vying for top-dog. Angelinos have a discerning palate and have become proverbial food snobs. Yelpers and Instagramers post their reviews every minute, along with the LA Times and other noteworthy contributors, that can make or break any newcomer.
Since opening in 2014 in downtown LA, Faith and Flowers hasn’t had any issues maintaining their hip rep, as it’s been voted by Zagat as one of the “hottest tickets in town” for its wow factor and their brilliant food offerings. The ambiance and décor resonates full of 1900 vintage, coupled with upscale modern appeal making it as excessive as their menu. It’s a swanky venue showcasing the most discerning foodies, cordially bursting with the typical trendy, wealthy crowd where anything from a business lunch or dinner to the proverbial girl’s night out abound, not to mention a romantic date night to throughly impress.
It’s the perfect setting for the discerning LA gourmands who’re always ferreting out the now spots to sample and review the latest offerings, as the menu is as eclectic as the crowd is beautiful, which pairs arbitrarily with the chic and vast surroundings.
The sheer size of Faith and Flowers would normally be daunting, but not here – it’s done so elegantly well it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s the perfect setting for rococo chandeliers, (the one over the bar alone has 4,000 feet of chain), sparkling jewellike colored goblets that grace every table and the murals are as riveting as the countless wall mirrors for the LA divas to check out their lipsticks and up-to-date attire. Did I mention they even have fur and feathers decorating their walls?
You’ve definitely got to be adventurous to navigate through the Iron-Chef-like infusion of East meets West nuances on their menu, where you’ll find clandestine combinations of dishes like pho foie gras, extravagant trout caviar paired with warm potato salad and even bone marrow is injected into their oxtail agnolotti.
Every item is carefully prepared to ensure a mind-blowing taste experience and that goes for their unusual and outstanding Jidori deviled eggs, which are nothing like the ordinary take you’re used to and one of their most ordered appetizers. The flavors of homemade Kimchi, aioli and Gochujang run rampant making these totally revolutionary, mildly spicy and one hell of an umami deviled egg.
So, if you find yourself in LA you may want to check out this jewel of a place even if their menu proves too intimidating, then my friends, I urge you to park your derriere at the bar, get to know the mixologist and order a couple of cocktails, cuz it’s also one of more stylin’ bars in LA.
1 dozen eggs
2 TBSP salt
3 TBSP of white vinegar
1 ½ cups of homemade aioli
2 TBSP gochujang paste
½ TSP toasted sesame oil
2 TBSP of kimchi juice
Chopped kimchi for garnish
Toasted black sesame seeds for garnish
Scallions and chives – finely chopped for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with some salt and 1 TBP vinegar. Add the eggs with a slotted spoon and boil them for 14 minutes. Drain them and cool them in a bowl with some ice cubes. Peel the eggs once they have cooled and carefully remove the yolks placing them in a large working bowl. The yolks will be slightly waxy in the middle and that is how you want them.
Mix the egg yolks, the aioli, gochujang, sesame oil and kimchi juice in a food processor to obtain a smooth paste.
Gochujang is a fermented Korean miso chili paste and its widely available in most supermarkets. It makes for the yolks in the deviled eggs to have the most distinctive and appealing papaya-like orange hue. Here, the influence of East meets West east is very apparent with French aioli and Korean flavorings. Kimchi is extremely easy to make but it can be purchased nowadays in most restaurants in the refrigerated produce section.