Hot New Restaurant -- Allumette
THR’s pick of the week for industry dining is an ambitious experiment in expensive avant-garde cuisine in still-gentrifying Echo Park.
The Quick Pitch: Like fellow young buzzed-about LA chef Craig Thornton (Wolvesmouth), Miles Thompson began his own tasting menu pop-up, the Vagrancy Project, in his apartment. He then moved it a few nights a week to this Echo Park address last year when owners Charles Kelly and Bill DiDonna still ran it as the Allston Yacht Club. The whole space has since been redesigned as his showcase under the Allumette name, with a more traditional menu structure but cooking – always creative, occasionally shaky – just as postmodern and deconstructed as before. Cavatelli is served with uni ragu and poached mushrooms; a carrot salad finds the vegetable roasted, poached, pickled and raw, then set in an ornately fecund scene with radishes, turnips and coriander seeds.
The Insider’s Dish: OK, so foisting an elaborate, expensive menu on Echo Park, known more for its tacos, may be a bit of a hipster faux pas. But Thompson, an actor when he was younger,did star in Miranda July’s beloved 2005 indie film Me and You and Everyone We Know.
The Must-Order Item: A delicate arrangement of Shimaaji sashimi with kiwi slices, blood oranges, sunflower sprouts, Persian cucumbers, black sesame seeds and green tea salt.
The Industry Neighbor: Los Angeles Center Studios, where Mad Men shoots.
1320 Echo Park Ave., L.A., 213.935.8787