Alimento, Good Nourishment…

 

Puntarelle alla Romana
Puntarelle alla Romana

There is a definite buzz around Alimento.

It is on a multitude of lists touting the best new Los Angeles restaurants.

I decided to take the family on a journey to Silver Lake last Sunday. Traffic is always an issue in Los Angeles so we attempted to traverse the city early evening.

The road trip is long and unappealing. Why people want to nest in Silver Lake I just don’t get it, but to each their own.

Back to the food.

We found street parking which is always a small victory and approached the small eating establishment on the main drag in Silver Lake.

Alimento Interior
Alimento Interior

It was only 6:15 and the place was packed.

Alimento
Alimento

We were shown to a lovely table by the window with a view of the bustling street scene and three tables of outdoor diners. The bench that I plopped down on was less than comfortable and its first incarnation was residing as a church pew. I prayed for good food.

Zach Pollack’s new spot is a laid-back place where charging $1.50 per person for filtered water goes toward preserving a local landmark, the Silver Lake Reservoir. the restaurant also offers an option to leave an additional tip for the kitchen staff since current labor laws prohibit restaurants from sharing servers’ tips.

Alimento (translation, good nourishment) is a team endeavor and also good enough to be a destination restaurant like Sotto, which Pollack and Steve Samson opened near Century City in 2011.

I truly enjoyed most of my meal, but you can keep Silver Lake. I just do not realistically believe that any dining experience I have had to date in Silver Lake is worth the hassle of getting there from the beach communities.

The focus at Alimento is on purist renditions of simple dishes from Italy.

Our server was gregarious. We started out with  a bottle of Giornata 2012 from Paso Robles ($56).

Octopus
Octopus

We immediately got down to it ordering an amazing octopus dish with black barley, roasted carrots and red onion ($16).

Puntarelle alla Romana
Puntarelle alla Romana

This was accompanied by Puntarelle alla Romana in the style of a Caesar ($11). The salad was fresh and very tasty.

Yellowtail Collar
Yellowtail Collar

The Yellowtail Collar Affumicato with potatoes and was rich and charred to perfection ($19).

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Fusilli with Clams

The pastas were amazing. David ordered the fusilli with clams, arugula, serranos and smoked butter ($17). I chose the gnoc with oxtail, marrow and potato…bellissimo ($17).

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Gnoc with Oxtail and Marrow

Other pasta selections included tortellini in brodo with hot broth, diced mortadella and parmesan ($14), maccheroncini, smoked brisket carbonara ($16), radiatori consisting of braised pork sumo, kale and fennel pollen ($17), whole wheat bigoli with tomato, pine nuts ($14)and pane frattau with spring lamb sumo, wild fennel and egg ($17).

More musts are Pollack’s version of Pigs in a Blamket and Chicken Liver Pate.

Story of my life…the high’s were epic, but when things went wrong they really bombed.

Bagna Caodo
Bagna Caoda

The Bagna Caoda, DOP is representative of the Piedmont region. Everyone raved about it, but it was atrocious ($29). The oil, garlic and anchovy-rich dipping potion was beyond salty and unappealing. The vegetables were uninspired.

Just like a blind date, there was an initial attraction and then ultimate turn off. It’s served here with a soft egg, to ramp up the sauce’s richness and a cornucopia of raw and grilled vegetables.

The table of intoxicated women next to us added to our disappointment of our main course selection. One voice was so high pitched we were concerned that it could shatter glass and we were sitting next to a glass bay window.

The fear wasn’t strong enough to prevent us from ordering dessert.

Rice Pudding
Rice Pudding

The rice pudding was tasty, topped with crunch, but so small that it added insult to injury after the Bagna Caoda disaster ($6).

We navigated the complicated way home through homeless encampments and crowded freeways.

I am going to leave Silver Lake to those who enjoy the area or reside close by.

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Alimento. 1710 Silver Lake Blvd. Open Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday 5:30–10pm. Friday and Saturday 5:30pm-midnight. alimentola.com. Valet parking $5. Reservations on OpenTable.com.

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