Over 3 years ago I first called Josef Centeno cooking at OPUS, one of the top 3 in all of Los Angeles. Now he is back with Lazy Ox. I had to see if the hype was for real.
Read Opus posts here:
Would I go back?: F-Yeah
Full Menu: http://www.lazyoxcanteen.com/menus.html
What we ate:
Cancha, Peruvian Corn (A)
Each table receives these tasty kernels with a lime, salt, and chile powder dusting. Yes waiter please refill ours -- 3x!
Pea Soup with Crisp Pork Belly (A) $8
Now originally we ordered the ricotta fritters but at 9:45 they were sold out. Disappointed my fiance decided to try the pea soup...soup is slightly sweet with a spearmint green color and is finished with a dollop of creme fraiche and cubes of pork belly and halved grapes. Now this is what sets Chef Centeno apart from others. I was reminded of his fantastic Pork Belly & Watermelon Salad at Opus -- keep in mind this pork belly was floating in the soup, so you would think it would be soogy instead crisp on the outside and juicy inside...really impressive. And when my fiance saw the grapes, she too remembered his past dishes. Only complaint was the soup could have been a tad warmer
Crispy Pig Ear with Lime & Horseradish Aioli (A+)
This was truly an achievement...goes down in my book as one of the top 10 foods I ever ate. Generous portion. The remarkable thing is though fried and long and skinny in length these pig ears had a firm bite on the outside giving way to a light yet fatty center. I easily ate the whole plate by myself adding the accompanying lime and table salt. This dish alone makes Lazy Ox a must-visit
Lazy Ox Burger with Carmody Cheese (B+) $13
Medium rare ordered, medium rare delivered. Waiter said it was a beef-pork blend...are hamburgers usually mix-breed? The size was a bit smaller and fatter than a hockey puck. The bun was OK as was the lettuce and red onion sliced on top. The cheese worked fine. Aioli and mustard seed sauce served on side along with Dill french fries.
Brick Roasted Mussels with basil, white wine, homemade sricha & french Feta (B+) 16
I tried the perfectly sized mussel and without the broth it was sweet and fresh. The broth, more like a light sauce, had nice sized chuncks of feta adding a nice nutty richness to the dish
Hand-torn pasta with sunny-die egg, brown butter & fresh herbs (B) $12
I think this dish had the highest expectations from me going in-- unfortunately it was a bit unseasoned.
Beer- split a $10 bottle of Bacchus
Overall, a fantastic vibe and a fantastic place
Total price $75 not including tip