Kogi food truck pioneer Roy Choi brings us this vaguely Caribbean restaurant, and the cuisines of the tropics give Choi plenty to work with. Pickled slices of dragon fruit make for a light start. The Cuban torta--a stack of pork terrine, prosciutto, provolone, and jalapenos--is a tasty extravaganza. Still, the kitchen can fumble with basics like fried plantains. Rum is the star of the bar--embrace it.
Best Granola, August 2012
The playful cereal at Sunny Spot, Roy Choi's Caribbean-leaning Venice enterprise, has little in common with the Birkenstock-wearing health crunch of old. Seemingly inspired by Saturday morning cartoons, the brunch-only bowl holds a multicolored medley studded with oranges, tropical fruits, Fruity Pebbles (calling Fred Flintstone), and sorrel tendrils. Teensy granola clusters tasting of brown butter swim in a pool of crème fraîche and coconut milk.