Lazy Ox Canteen


We haven’t seen much of Josef Centeno since he left us high and dry after a brief and inspiring stint at Lot 1. He’s back, this time in Little Tokyo, with a wild menu of smallish plates like brandade fritters with a yuzu aioli and pan-fried skate wing with ham hock collard greens. Red grapes and crisp nuggets of pork belly bob in an oblong bowl of creamy pasilla soup, and romano beans as thick as tree branches are tossed with a rich tarragon dressing and an abundance of well-buttered croutons. This is as much an edgy beer-and-wine bar as a restaurant, with a large and unusual cache of bottled, by-the-glass, and on-tap selections.  » 241 S. San Pedro St., downtown (213-626-5299 or L-D daily; brunch Sat.-Sun. Beer and wine. New American $$

Photograph by Jessica Boone