The perpetually uncertain and blithely decorated Town & Country closed for remodeling, which in Los Angeles means it's never going to achieve the escape velocity necessary to reopen, until something else takes its place. Forage is here now, with better ideas and a higher caliber kitchen staff (think Jason Kim from Lucques and Amanda Bacon of Lucques and Canelé). The decor is clean white and wood.
Do you grow edible things? Lots of people do, evidently, and the concept of Forage is to take advantage of excess crops, helping to share the vitaminal wealth. One can bring in homegrown fruits and vegetables and barter them for credit (call in advance, or check the website for the Forage gatherings). They may figure out what to do with them, create a dish, and name it after you for as long as it's available.
A stable pillar of the menu is their Jidori Chicken, carefully rotisseried and shining with its own juices. The meat has just enough firmness, and while I generally prefer my chicken crisped more by the heat, the browning of the skin is tasty. If you can get some roasted fresh from the kitchen (I always seem to get the last two pieces under the heat lamp), so much the better.
Their everyday Market Green Salad is even better. Not a spiky tumbleweed or bitter red leaf in sight, the lettuces are softened like butter under the subtle lemon bite of yellow oil. Tiny coins of radish add snap.
A Pastrami Sandwich might be available, layered under a twisty torpedo of heavy, abrasive bread of great quality. The pastrami is even-handed, not overly fatty or salty, and mellowed by braised cabbage and thick sheets of Swiss cheese. A mustard aioli runs through it.
As with the Jidori Chicken, the side dish is fully as interesting as the main choice. The Black Bean soup embodies the concept of "soup" as much as any I've tried, rich with vegetables and not at all runny as many black bean soups are. Thin rings of scallion rest atop a swirl of cream.
The Awesome Avocado sandwich looks desaturated and pale, but the avocado is so fresh and solid that it becomes the strongest element. Tomatoes, cool wisps of green cabbage, fennel pickles and a Mexican pationa (I am still trying to figure out what that means) all create comfort without overriding the avocado, and still somehow maintaining sandwichal stability.
I'm told the Nirman Ranch Pork Belly Sandwich, on a baguette with the same toppings and a green garlic aioli, is rave-worthy, so I shan't say no.
To drink there's Blue Bottle coffee, or their Agua Fresca, which may be a homemade lemonade or a tangelo orange which reminds one eerily of a well-mixed glass of Tang.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Bakery/Patisserie, Healthy/Organic, Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park, American )
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