A Roving Reporter Report
It is a lot of work to go from West LA to downtown on a weekday night. Dining at Alma makes the trip worthwhile. Signage is not good. I was able to ask the parking lot guy to confirm that I was in the right place.
Hostess Ashleigh makes the welcome excellent. The Alma setting is nothing special but is very pleasant. The staff we were served by, Lindsey and Airelle were excellent and Chef Ari did an outstanding job.
The food is very creative. We chose the “Tasting Menu” $90.00. This ended up being a 12 course menu. Alma imposes a 2 bottle BYO limit. When we ran out of our white wine before the soft shell crab course, Lindsey suggested an excellent California Sauvignon Blanc. This was followed by the ’66 Chateau Lyonnat which was a huge treat.
Every dish was good. There were a couple stand-out preparations.
BYO White wine
Seaweed beignet lemon aoli
Charred baby corn, cilantro, lime salt
House made English muffin with salmon and caviar.
Meyer lemon soda foam preserved lemon.
The tasting menu starts now after the 4 “snacks”
Sweet shrimp, sunchoke, grapefruit, eucalyptus, liquorice herbs.
Spring alliums, kumquat, goat milk, turnip, coffee granola—a wonderful garden salad.
Beginning of corn soup
Pouring soup in bowl- no pic of finished soup – Summer corn soup, vadouvan, and nasturtium ice cream—perfect, may have been the best dish of the night—hot/cold combination superb.
House made Rye Beer Bread
Soft shell crab, cucumber, green tomato, buttermilk—excellent mix of flavors.
BYO Red Wine
Aged duck, brassica porcini. Wonderful!
15 day dry aged pigeon…this was an add in—disappointing—too much like the previous dish, not good, disappointed.
Egg yolk, date, coffee, amaranth
Warm rye bread pudding with red fruits, almond brittle, and frozen yogurt. This was a real treat.
Wines: Both special. The ’96 Rioja superb, deep flavor. It was a superb match with many of the first dishes. The ’66 Bordeaux—no sign of losing any power or flavor, no browning around the edges…a real treat 47 years of age.
If you are looking for new, well presented, different cuisine with excellent service Alma should be at the top of your list.