A page of absinthe possibilities sets the tone at Faith & Flower, a demimonde of flambéed infused spirits, crystal chandeliers, and tufted nooks. Chef Michael Hung and his sous-chef, Huy Nguyen, offer a contemporary rendering of a stringent classic approach. Blue Lake beans are blanched and pan seared, then dusted with Vietnamese shrimp powder. A tableside pour of smoky bacon broth turns a seared steelhead into instant chowder. Thick with mushrooms, a sauce chasseur glistens around seared calves’ brains atop a black radish salad. For dessert, plummy Armagnac bolsters a crème anglaise beneath an apple-and-miso crumble, while soft mounds of coconut tapioca cushion agnolotti made from thinly peeled pineapple strips. The bar draws a lively postwork crowd, but this bold venture is far more than a watering hole.
The Vibe: Fancy enough for a special occasion, but easygoing enough for drinks pre-Staples Center.
The Crowd: A nice mix of well-heeled types, pre-and-post L.A. Live goers, absinthe lovers, adventurous eaters.
The Must-Have Dishes: Kimchi-spiked Jidori deviled eggs are popular. Oxtail agnolotti stars bone marrow butter, tangerine salsa, and beef tendon chicharrones—it’s a showstopper.
The Drinks: Cocktails are, in a word, magnificent. The traditional milk punch was recently honored by Esquire Magazine as one of the drinks of the year.
Getting a Table: The restaurant is huge, which helps your chances of scoring a table. Still, Saturday nights and peak times can be a challenge. Think ahead with this one.
Insider Tip: Absinthe is so 2009, right? Wrong. Faith & Flower’s elaborate tableside presentation of the fabled spirit is worth the flashback.
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