The Top 10 Best New Restaurants of 2013 - Digest - Los Angeles magazine

The Top 10 Best New Restaurants of 2013

Cooks County


11334 Moorpark Street
Studio City


Chef CJ Jacobson forages with the best of them, but the former pro volleyball player and Top Chef contestant practices a style of cooking so unadorned, it’s almost a throwback. A simple appetizer of pork satay gets nudged out of the ordinary with a knife point of diced grilled lemon. Where others might gussy up braised leg of lamb au jus, Jacobson displays admirable reserve, serving slices with carrot puree. Battleship gray, with burled wood trim, the Studio City spot is comfortable, while the staff is welcoming and refreshingly uncool. Jacobson specializes in a precise form of layering in which steaming bowls of mushroom broth are lent a musky vapor with freshly shaved matsutake mushrooms. The pine-grilled sturgeon with sage-brushed celery root may sound a cowboy shy of being a country song. But the grilled pine needles coating the fish are few enough to create a complexity that’s haunting.

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