Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bestia

Last week, Justin and I finally tried Bestia.  Justin made a reservation in February, for the end of May.  Case in point: this place is on a lot of angelenos' must-try lists. I was a little skeptical about going because the menu is full of dishes with unusual meats as well as cheese. I'm not a cheese lover and I mostly eat white fish and chicken, both of which are too ordinary for Bestia's menu.  That said, I chose to go vegetarian for a night, and I thoroughly enjoyed my food choices here.
First up was the beet salad pictured above. It had arugula, kumquats, pistachios, gorgonzola, and creme fraiche, all topped with mustard vinaigrette.
Salad #2, pictured above, was a farro salad with shaved cauliflower, avocado puree, pickled sweet chili, mint, and shaved montasio cheese.  
The next dish that came to our table was the star of the meal. Quadretti pasta with mushroom ragu, carrot tops, lima beans (I think they used a fancier term for them which I'm forgetting), and soffrito (which I learned is a light vegetable-based sauce). I'm willing to go out on a limb and say this is the best pasta I've ever had. The quadretti was thick and doughy (in a very good way), and I could tell that it was made on the spot with very fresh ingredients.  The sauce was unlike any pasta sauce I've had before; it was very very flavorful. And the mushrooms were cooked to perfection.  The carrot tops were so soft and sweet that I would have mistaken them for pureed sweet potatoes if I hadn't seen "carrot tops" on the menu.
Finally, we couldn't resist the pizza.  Bestia's margherita pizza was delicious.  They don't allow any modifications to their dishes at this restaurant, so I let the cheese in even thought I would normally ask for the pizza without cheese. That said, the cheese wasn't overwhelming.  I loved the way Bestia made the fresh tomato sauce the star of the pizza. And let's not forget that the crust was cooked to perfection. Thin yet chewy, just the way I like it.  Bestia for the win.

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