In continuation of my posts on great eats I had during my last trip to Los Angeles, I would like to use this entry solely on my experience at Bestia. I’ve been reading all these great reviews about this place and all of my friends from LA who have gone have also been ranting about the food. Reservations are not easy to come by at this place if you have a large group or want the usual dinner time frame just to warn you. We managed to get a 10pm reservation on a Sunday night.
Since the dinner was late, we started off with some drinks at SLS Hotel Beverly Hills. They have this great bar that is a part of Bazaar (their restaurant). They serve creative cocktails and have little pockets of seating. It’s a good spot to start the night off before dinner or a place for a night cap.
After drinks and some small bar bites we headed over to Bestia. The location is a bit spotty looking being in some warehouse area in Downtown LA. It doesn’t seem to have much in sight other than this big bustling restaurant. I actually really liked this aspect of the place. It’s like a hidden gem.
Upon arriving into this rather large space you see the place filled with people, eating and drinking. It’s got a real hip cool vibe. But don’t be fooled and think that the place is all image. A glance past their bar and you see this large glass fridge door that houses charcuterie. You see from the other end there’s a huge oven for their pizza and meats. Then front and center is their open kitchen where you see their chefs in big smiles drinking wine. Now that’s a good sign. Sunday night after a long evening of service, you see happy chefs with wine means you are getting some true labor of love back there. These people are beaming with passion, love for indulgences (food and wine) and are surrounded by some serious equipment and backup (ovens, smoked/cured meats etc) I am loving this place already.
After a cocktail or two, we get seated and the eating begins.
Smoked Mackeral, burrata, tomato jam on crostini (Sounded rather interesting and different…the verdict: Absolutely amazing! This is one dish I will be trying to replicate on my own. The flavors contrasted so well with the sweet jam and the slightly salty mackeral and the creaminess melded well with the crisp crostini. This is one stellar dish)
Beef meatballs, braised beet greens, soffritto and tomato (The meatballs were extremely tender and moist. You can tell by just picking them up with your fork. They were falling apart as you picked them up. I personally found the meatballs themselves so delicious I didn’t even want the braised beet greens. The braised beet greens were a bit salty and didn’t add much to the meatballs. I would have just taken it on it’s own with the soffritto and tomato and been absolutely content. The char outside of the meatballs were also a great touch. Added another level of flavor to meatballs. Another outstanding dish)
Here comes my guilt pleasures!!!! (pasta and pizza)
Spaghetti Rustichella, sea urchin, squid ink bottarga, calabrian chili, garlic, breadcrumbs (I’m a huge fan of sea urchin in pasta so I couldn’t miss out on this, not to mention it has chili and garlic which I’m addicted to. Judging by my praise of the ingredients alone, you can probably tell I hated this dish right? haha. Let’s just say, I would lick this plate clean if I didn’t care for table manners)
Porcini Pappardelle, hand-cut mushroom pasta,fava, mixed mushrooms, poached farm egg and fried spinach (Another delicious satisfying plate of pasta. The mixture of all these amazing ingredients like porcini, and fresh fava, and yet another element of creaminess but this time from an egg yolk. These people know what they are doing. And nothing beats fresh made pasta)
Pizza, Alla’Nduja San Marzano tomatoes, wild arugula, mozzarella (great dough, baked to perfection, bubbly, charred, chewy but light and airy at the same time with a slight hint of salt in the dough. Great artisanal pizza! Nduja is one of my favorites. Who can say no to spreadable salami. Imagine the delicious goodness of salami without the casing and the filling is soft and spreadable. I usually have it over crostini but this way of baking it on pizza is genius. The crisp slightly bitter taste of the arugula added a nice contrast to the salty and heavy flavor of the Nduja. Definitely a huge fan of this dish)
Grilled Stumble Creek Skirt Steak, snap peas, haricot verts, wax beans, mint oil and cipollini (The steak was tender, flavorful and nicely cooked. The vegetables were good but nothing memorable. Mind you by this time, I’m beyond stuffed so I don’t know if that affected my taste buds. I wasn’t in awe of this dish and pretty much was ready to throw in the towel)a href=”http://myfangalicious.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/img_0946.jpg”>
All in all, I think the Mackeral, Meatballs, Pasta and pizza outshone the rest. I unfortunately couldn’t fit anything else in my beyond bursting stomach which was a pity because their desserts looked amazing. I wish I didn’t clean all those plates. Good food however can never be wasted and I was not able to take any of it home being in a hotel.
After dining at Bestia, all I can think about is when can I go back. Next time I’ll stick with the starters, pasta and pizza. I would skip the main entree (secondi) and order a dessert instead. The energy in this place is infectious and the cocktails are killer too. What more do you want? And to top it off a place that opens past 10pm on a Sunday that serves food that can satisfy any true foodie gets an A+ in my book. Now, can we get a BESTIA in San Fran Please!?!?!