Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lazy Ox Canteen [Little Tokyo/Downtown LA]

I went to Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo for New Year's Eve with a few friends (and friends of friends) after seeing the musical "Next to Normal." I'm a fan of gastropub restaurants/places that serve little gourmet dishes to share so I was pretty into the idea of coming here. The service was good, especially since it definitely sucks to be working on NYE.

The two gripes I had were: since there was no room inside, we had to sit outside at night. We had asked the hostess to let us know if any tables open up inside and she never once came out to give us an update. Kind of not cool. Secondly, the prices are a bit too much for me/the dishes itself. Don't get me wrong, the food was all delicious; if each dish was a few dollars less, then it would be more worth it and warrant a second visit. There were five of us, which meant we could try a whole bunch of dishes (they had a regular menu and a "blackboard" menu of specials). They also had a very nice list of unique beers other restaurants probably wouldn't serve, which was great. Since there are too many dishes to talk about (and I don't want to bore you), I'll let the photos do (most of the) talking.

Bellwether Farms ricotta fritters with saffron honey (7). I'm a huge fan of ricotta, so having them with a bit of honey was fantastic.

Dashi marinated yellowtail with avocado, hash brown and tonburi (15). The hash brown was a bit awkward in the dish, as the yellowtail and avocado has more of that citrus taste. Take away the hash brown, and this was a pretty good dish.

Beef lengua (tongue) and chorizo croquette with harissa. I didn't expect the tongue to be diced up so small but the flavor was still there. Subtle, but there.

Crispy bone marrow with lentil salad. Airy and light, I didn't even know I was tasting bone marrow! Pretty fun to try.

Rose (8) and Proseco (12)to start the festivities!

Marinated anchovies with piquillo pepper. I'm not a fan of anchovies, but I tried this anyway. The marinade was good; so were the peppers. This has a very anchovy taste which overpowered everything if you like that, this is right up your alley.

Squash blossoms with ricotta and prosciutto. Basically a squash tempura filled with ricotta. The batter was very delicate and light, which gave me more of the squash and ricotta flavor. I didn't taste any prosciutto though.

Hand-torn pasta with fried egg and herbs. The pasta was really delicious. I don't know what kind of sauce they used (actually I shouldn't use sauce, more of a drizzle of something but I want to know so I can make it!

I very rarely eat lamb (not a fan of gamey meat in general), but the taste wasn't overwhelmingly gamey. Very moist and tender.

Butterscotch pudding with pine nut cookie (8). I didn't have any of the cookie but the pudding was really delicious. A hint of salt and a slight bitter aftertaste counters the sweetness and richness of butterscotch. I was worried it would be too heavy, but it was a very light pudding.

The first rice pudding (9) I actually enjoyed. Light, airy and subtle, the hazelnut on top of the pudding, as well as the caramel and cream in the other two dishes, really elevated this dish.

Lazy Ox Canteen
241 S San Pedro St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

1 comment:

Aaron Lopez said...

My name is Aaron Lopez and I'm with LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE. We're doing a spread in our JULY 2011 on some places to eat and we love your shot of the LAZY OX CANTEEN sign.
We were wondering is you would give us permission to use it. You would of course be credited in the issue.
I couldn't find an email on your blog so I'm leaving this comment.
Please contact me at or
the photo editor, Sharon Suh at
The sooner we hear from you, the better.

Aaron Lopez