Alma Lovin’

Smoked Salmon with Housemade English Muffins
Alma started as an acclaimed pop-up restaurant in Venice, but laid down roots last year next to a taxi dance hall downtown on South Broadway. It has a cool minimalistic and modern interior with an open kitchen where a talented young chef named Ari Taymor hones his craft. Taymor’s modern American cuisine is the food equivalent of a Terrence Malick film or an opera by Phillip Glass; in other words, it’s not for everyone. But for foodies and other bon vivants (myself included), dinner at Alma can be a very special experience.

The menu, which is printed in lower case letters on pages of a yellow legal pad, changes daily and features small plates composed of seasonal, market-driven ingredients, many of which are sourced from an exclusive arrangement with a garden/micro-farm in Venice. The flavors are complex and nuanced. The combinations are, for the most part, interesting and inspired. As you would expect, there are foams and droplets of sauce.

My favorite dish is the Chicken Liver Toast & Date Jam, a perfect amalgam of sweet and savory, creamy and crunchy. I’m also a big fan of Alma’s Seaweed & Tofu Beignets with Yuzu Kosho and Lime, as well as their unusual “onion salad” of Spring Alliums, Kumquats, Goat’s Milk, Turnips and Coffee Granola. For dessert, I recommend the Warm Rye Bread Pudding with Red Fruits, Almond Brittle and Frozen Yogurt. You can enjoy it all with an organic wine, craft beer or homemade soda.

Alma is located at 952 S. Broadway, Los Angeles (Downtown).

Spring Alliums, Kumquat, Goat Milk, Turnip, Coffee Granola

Spring Alliums, Kumquat, Goat Milk, Turnip, Coffee Granola


Uni Toast, Burrata and Caviar

Uni Toast, Burrata and Caviar


Seaweed & Tofu Beignet, Yuzu Kosho and Lime

Seaweed & Tofu Beignet, Yuzu Kosho and Lime


Dungeness Crab, Summer Squash, Almond Milk, Quinoa and Basil

Dungeness Crab, Summer Squash, Almond Milk, Quinoa and Basil


Seared Yellowtail Jack, Celery and Lentils

Seared Yellowtail Jack, Celery and Lentils


Chicken Liver Toast and Date Jam

Chicken Liver Toast and Date Jam


Grilled Scallops, Smoked Pork, Corn, Miso and Apricot

Grilled Scallops, Smoked Pork, Corn, Miso and Apricot


New York Steak, Morel, Snails, Asparagus and Smoked Garlic  Bearnaise

New York Steak, Morel, Snails, Asparagus and Smoked Garlic Bearnaise


Jidori Chicken, Carrot, Lemongrass and Basil

Jidori Chicken, Carrot, Lemongrass and Basil


Charred Eggplant with Trumpet Mushrooms, Broccoli, Bulgur and Pine Nuts

Charred Eggplant with Trumpet Mushrooms, Broccoli, Bulgur and Pine Nuts


Sweetbreads, Mole, Beet and Cherry

Sweetbreads, Mole, Beet and Cherry


Buttermilk Cake, Apricot and Brown Butter Ice Cream

Buttermilk Cake, Apricot and Brown Butter Ice Cream


Chocolate, Popcorn and Sorrel

Chocolate, Popcorn and Sorrel


Warm Rye Bread Pudding with Red Fruits, Almond Brittle and Frozen Yogurt

Warm Rye Bread Pudding with Red Fruits, Almond Brittle and Frozen Yogurt


Modern, cutting-edge French cuisine next door to a taxi dance hall

Modern, cutting-edge cuisine next door to a taxi dance hall



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