Walking out of Gastronomico, I was cursing that I’d overpaid for exactly one pound of vegetables: It was the Veggie Trio, and it’s $11.95. Considering one of the components, the beet salad, was simply scooped from the display case, I was thinking I could have had a much better salad from Tender Greens, or even Gelsons. Or better yet, I could have gone up the street to Tropicalia and had a 2-3 pound salad, with meat, for less money.
But no, here I was walking to the car thinking these guys are sticking it to me. When I got home and opened up the bag, it was indeed a smallish portion, which was made to look smaller due to the mis-matched size of the container.
But what I didn’t expect was the quality of the dishes. The fried cauliflower had a nice burnt crust, which I love, and the tomato kept it moist. The ingredients were obviously top notch. And even though I saw the guy scooping the beet salad from the display case, it too tasted fresh and was very bright with the citrus.
The real winner was the Llapingachos. This is like a thick potato pancake, or maybe a potato biscuit, with a nice sauce and leeks. With the other two dishes, this added the necessary starch to make the meal quite satisfying. And it was topped with a sunny side up quail egg.
I think I’ll be going back after all.
1802 Hillhurst (at Melbourne)
1802 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027
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