I have just finished eating at the Lazy Ox for probably the 20th time in the last 3 months. For a long time I have been hearing and reading about Chef Joseph Centano's cooking. He was renowned for his tasting plates at Opus. I never had the chance to get there. Then there were rumours of his signature Baco, which reviewers stated were a new dimension in eating. So when the Lazy Ox opened I went to check this chef out. From the very first meal i realized that there was something extraordinary going on. That first night I had the Pig Ear Chicarone and a glass of beer. The chicharones were perfect, but when combined with the pickles a whole new level was reached. I began to get an idea that this chef had a very subtle understanding of taste combination. Certain dishes such as the Lamb Belly Lebni would be at home on any 3 star restaurant menu. This is the most wonderful deep fried lamb belly that has been braised in goose fat befor frying...Unbelievably good. Another night the original Baco and a seafood Baco were on the menu and they were just as great as had been said! Last night I had the most delicious sweetbreads with grits, again a 3 star dish. I asked Chef if he could do something with crawfish and the next thing I knew there was a crawfish family dinner on Sunday Night that was a knock out. The crawfish were perfect and a corn dish with sausage and potatoes was great, the corn so sweet...but the Dumpcake with icecream was the knock out for dessert. Be warnwed family dinners are definitely for 2! The vegatables are amazing here. Chef Jo is brasing,roasting, sauteing and steaming and never a miss. The rice pudding is sublime. I get mine with a double order of caramel. This chef lives in my head. Whether it is the soft shell crab or the beef palleron, I eat at a level that is not equaled anywhere els. I've been to Bouchon, Annisette,Red O, Spago, Mori, and numerous other hot restaurants during this period and all pale next to the Lazy Ox. My only concern is that the wine list just doesn't have the quality of wine that would take this food to that next level. But having said that I am getting an education in beer by the knowlegable bartenders. No this is not a million dollar installation like Red O but fellow hounds this place gets it right with the food, ambiance and service. My highest recomendation goes to the Lazy Ox and Chef Jo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Lazy Ox Canteen
241 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046