On-Trend and Farm-Fresh
One of the hottest dining tends to emerge in 2013 has undoubtedly been the subscription of seemingly every new restaurant to a farm-to-table ingredient philosophy. So many likeminded openings beg the question: How does a debut diner stand out from the crowd? The answer is, by way of a creative and experienced owner/GM combination at the helm, a sparse, less-is-more fitout, a highly skilled husband and wife team behind the stoves, and most importantly, passion and invention.
In the case of new opening Flores, design-savvy owner Amal Flores and Manhattan stalwart Pastis’ former manager Dagny Mendelsohn have taken the reins of the old Sawtelle Kitchen space, and turned it into a minimal yet toasty-warm cave of white tile and treated concrete, with contrasting walnut, marble and leather furnishing accents. Ramsay and Robuchon alums Angela Hernandez and Rob Lawson plate up market-driven fare for lunch and dinner, with dishes including a soft shell crab sandwich, chicken liver bruschetta with beets, cherries and bacon, and ‘Texas Dip’ slow roasted brisket with pickles making regular headline appearances. Desserts by pastry chef Cesar Bermundez Cifuentes include strawberries and vinegar caramel, and blackberry cobbler, plus there’s a selection of boutique wines and local craft beers to accompany. Now that’s a winning formula!