Monthly Archives: March 2014

Not Your Routine Poutine

canada
Canada is the home of gold medal winning female bobsledders, an incorrigible rapscallion/pop star known as “J-Biebs,” and a corpulent crack-smoking mayor that bears a striking resemblance to the late great Chris Farley. But foodwise, the greatest achievement of our neighbor to the north is poutine.

For the uninitiated, poutine is Canadian fast food that originated in Quebec. It’s fries with a brown gravy-like sauce and cheese curds. A good plate of poutine is salty and unctuous, and perfect for late night binging, noshing at a hockey game, and consuming while listening to the song stylings of French-Canadian chanteuse Celine Dion.

LA chefs, especially those at local gastropubs, have been obsessed lately with poutine and have lovingly put their own spin the dish. Below are some of my favorite non-traditional poutines served around town, with a couple of more classic ones thrown in for good measure.

Chicken Tikka Poutine

Chicken Tikka Poutine

1. Chicken Tikka Poutine from Badmaash (108 W. 2nd Street in Downtown Los Angeles).

Bahn Mi Poutine

Bahn Mi Poutine

2. Bahn Mi Poutine from The Gorbals (501 So. Spring St. in Downtown Los Angeles)

Galbi Poutine with Pickled Kimchi Onions

Galbi Poutine with Pickled Kimchi Onions

3. Galbi Poutine with Pickled Kimchi Onions from Seoul Sausage (11313 Mississippi Ave, Los Angeles in West LA)

Pastrami Gravy Fries with Beef Tallow Fries, Pastrami Bits Pastrami Gravy, Melted Swiss Cheese and Chopped Pickles

Pastrami Gravy Fries (with Beef Tallow Fries, Pastrami Bits Pastrami Gravy, Melted Swiss Cheese and Chopped Pickles)

4. Pastrami Gravy Fries (with Beef Tallow Fries, Pastrami Bits Pastrami Gravy, Melted Swiss Cheese and Chopped Pickles) from Plan Check Kitchen + Bar (1800 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles in West LA and 352 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles in Mid-City)

Truffled Poutine Burger

Truffled Poutine Burger

5. Truffled Poutine Burger from Umami Burger (Locations in Santa Monica, Studio City, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Hermosa Beach, Downtown, Burbank, Hollywood, Thousand Oaks and Pasadena)

Gravy Fried with Roast Brisket and Cheddar

Gravy Fries with Roast Brisket and Cheddar

6. Gravy Fries with Roast Brisket and Cheddar from The Bowery (6268 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles in Hollywood)

Poutine with Ground Beef and Sauteed Onions, Peppers & Mushrooms

Poutine with Ground Beef and Sauteed Onions, Peppers & Mushrooms

7. Build your own Poutine (this one has Ground Beef and Sauteed Onions, Peppers and Mushrooms) at Jay’s Bar (4321 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles in Silverlake)

Smoked Meats Poutine with curds and gravy

Smoked Meats Poutine with Curds and Gravy

8. Smoked Meats Poutine with Curds and Gravy from Little Fork (1600 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles in Hollywood)

Poutine, Oxtail Gravy, Cheddar

Poutine, Oxtail Gravy, Cheddar

9. Poutine, Oxtail Gravy, Cheddar from Animal (435 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles in Mid-City)

Poutine Île-du-Prince-Édouard with mussels au gratin

Poutine Île-du-Prince-Édouard with Mussels au Gratin

10. Poutine ÃŽle-du-Prince-Édouard with Mussels au Gratin from Soleil Westwood and P’tit Soleil (1386 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles in Westwood)

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Filed under Burbank, Downtown, Hermosa Beach, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Silverlake, Studio City, Thousand Oaks, West LA, Westwood

Le Mediocre

Prairie Prime Pork Chop & Belly
There has been a lot of press lately about the 3% Obamacare surcharge added to all patrons’ checks at LA’s hot new French restaurant, Republique. The surcharge is intended to pay for health care insurance for restaurant employees, and for those diners who find the surcharge objectionable, the restaurant recommends deducting it from the gratuity. Whether this is a well meaning attempt to provide better benefits to restaurant employees, a slam on Obamacare, or a brilliant publicity stunt, personally, I don’t like it. What’s next? A surcharge for electricity or for paper towels in the bathroom? Republique should do what all other restaurants do; factor its total overhead into its food prices.

But the problem with Republique increasing food prices to pay for healthcare insurance is that the food there is overpriced to begin with. Sure, the place (it’s in the old Campanile space) is hip and fun and they offer a mezcal-based cocktail called “Speaking in Tongues.” But to me it’s all about the food, and the food at Republique, just like the Lakers this season, is sadly mediocre; merely good and unfortunately not great. Dining there recently left me thinking of that Peggy Lee song “Is That All There Is?” — the answer to which in this case is “yes and you get to pay an additional 3% for it.”

Republique is located at 624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles (Mid-City).

Grass-Fed Beef Tartare with Tarragon Aioli, Pickled Red Onion and Potato Chips

Grass-Fed Beef Tartare with Tarragon Aioli, Pickled Red Onion and Potato Chips


"Eggs on Toast" with Santa Barbara Uni and Soft-scrambled Eggs

“Eggs on Toast” with Santa Barbara Uni and Soft-scrambled Eggs


Tart a L'Alsacienne with  Stinging Nettles, Asparagus, Leeks and Drake Family Farms Goat Cheese

Tart a L’Alsacienne with
Stinging Nettles, Asparagus, Leeks and Drake Family Farms Goat Cheese


Hand-Cut Fettuccine with Maine Lobster Bolognese

Hand-Cut Fettuccine with Maine Lobster Bolognese


Maine Bouchot Mussels with French Fries, White Wine and Garlic

Maine Bouchot Mussels with French Fries, White Wine and Garlic


Mediterranean Branzino with Thai Curry, Carrot Coconut and Peanuts

Mediterranean Branzino with Thai Curry, Carrot Coconut and Peanuts


Banana Cream Pie with Hot Chocolate and Peanut Buttter

Banana Cream Pie with Hot Chocolate and Peanut Buttter


Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake with Milk Eau de Vie

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake with Milk Eau de Vie


In the old Campanile space on La Brea

In the old Campanile space on La Brea



Republique on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Mid-City