I want to eat food that surprises me. Surprises are one of my favorite things, if you’re looking for ways to win my heart in 2017. Plates that I haven’t seen conceptualized and successfully executed, pairings that never crossed my mind–that’s what excites me when I sit down at a new restaurant, especially if there is hype surrounding it. You can supply all the Instgrammable walls and vignettes you want, get “influencers” to post about your restaurant, but if if the food is the same old thing you saw at last week’s hot spot, where’s the respect? The meal is irrelevant if the chef isn’t pushing the culture in any way, shape, or form.
I was excited to eat at Destroyer. When I heard Jordan Kahn had opened another restaurant, curiosity washed over me. One of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten in Los Angeles was at Red Medicine, and although that restaurant pissed off a lot of people, I had the time of my life the one and only time I ate there. Would’ve dined there more if I was gupaed up; thankfully I was put in charge of my former studio's dinner, in which I chose Red Medicine so I could finally experience Kahn’s menu while simultaneously putting on my co-workers. For as long as I live, I will never forget the bowl of Heirloom Rice Porridge I enjoyed there. I think about it often and my heart longs for it.
Destroyer is quite the scene for a restaurant with limited in-door seating and I like it. I’m sure the outdoor seats will pop off once it starts to warm up again. The design of the space forces you to interact with the people around you, something too many restaurants avoid in Los Angeles. It’s now more important than ever that we get to know our neighbor. You feel me? During our lunch a British woman overheard our conversation about my incredible culinary experience in London and we immediately began chopping it up. That’s the kind of communal vibe I want to see more of in 2017.
For breakfast dessert, I turned to the Spiced Bread with creme fraiche, black currant and wood sorrel. I typically would’ve passed on spice bread as it’s always a bit extra for my palate, but it was a surprise delivery at the table, compliments of the house. I’m thankful it was bestowed upon me, but not simply for its beauty, it was in fact a delightful treat. The crème fraîche complimented the spice, taking its usual intensity down a notch, and played nicely with both the black currant and wood sorrel, that so perfectly laid atop the cream. The precision alone demanded my respect. I can’t say that I’ve ever eaten wood sorrel (the small leaves pictured above), which elevated my dining experience simply by putting me on to something new. The bread was moist, dense, and full of flavor. When i was finished, I was so impressed it had me thinking about the the other baked goods so beautifully displayed on the counter top. What else was I missing out on?
Destroyer |3578 Hayden Ave, Culver City, CA 90232
Dinnerware ceramic vessels by Match Stoneware.