Ever since chef Brendan Collins departed from England to take the chef de cuisine gig at Mélisse in 2002, he’s left footprints all around L.A.’s dining scene. He was at Anisette with Alain Giraud, The Hall at Palihouse, Waterloo & City, and even Orange County’s one-time critical darling Mesa before finally opening Birch in March (which, by the way, got three stars from Patric Kuh). But when Collins isn’t at his restaurant churning out massive hunks of beef for Sunday roasts or charring monkfish tikka masala in the tandoori oven, what’s he eating? Here are his five favorite dishes from around L.A.
1 . Tagliatelle with White Truffles at Mélisse
“Definitely the one dish that makes the trip to Mélisse worth it, and a must from September through December.”
2 . Salt & Charcoal Potato at Ink.
“The dish’s simplicity and addictiveness show the pure intelligence that went into its development.”
3 . Murgh Mangalore at Cardamom Indian Cuisine
“I love Indian food and murgh mangalore typifies the essence of the subcontinent.”
4 . Chamorro Adobado at Mexicano
“It’s meaty, spicy, and fresh—an excellent Mexican peasant dish.”
5 . Beef Ribs and Small Ends at Phillips Bar-B-Que
“I’ve been to plenty of barbecue spots in Austin and San Antonio, and Phillips holds up to some of their best.”