Recently I was invited to a free dinner at Cafe Pinot in downtown LA, and naturally, I all but jumped at the opportunity as there is little that can get between me and free food. I’d never been to Cafe Pinot, and much to my pleasure, I found that it bordered on a lovely court / square / park adjacent to downtown’s public library. Like most things in DTLA these days, it proved to be a charming surprise.
After the jump, I put on my food blogger hat and present several awful photos of what was actually quite lovely fare…
Things started off with an octopus poached in green curry — two things that I most certainly love. On the side came a crispy potato chip and a dollop of purple potato mash. The duo of tubers was quite tasty, but I’m not sure it was necessary with the clean flavors of the octopus. Still, I ate that shizz up.
A Duo of the Sea! On one side we had yellow fin tuna tartar with avocado mousse and soy onions. On the other we had hamachi sashimi, vadouvan curry (I don’t know what that is, but hey, I’ll go with it), and tomato concasse. This course was right up my alley as I am a great lover of sushi and raw fish. I gotta admit, however, that the avocado mousse stole the show. Way to go, avocado.
We got a Maine diver scallop up in hurre. Scattered over it were tasty little potato cubes and a “leek fondue.” I didn’t get the fondue part of the equation, but this dish made me very, very happy.
At first glance, this dish might look like a pile of dirt. That’s because I applied no artistry in framing the shot and therefore all but hid the fact that it was actually a wild mushroom risotto topped with oodles of truffles. Spoiler alert: my favorite dish of the night. That’s also probably because I gushed something to the effect of “I LOVE TRUFFLES,” resulting in some bonus shavings for yours truly. Did I mention all the free wine they were serving us? Duh-duh-duh duh duuuh I’m loving it.
Next we move on to some John Dory with lemon verbena and virgin olive oil and ratatouille vegetables. Another fine offering, but the stick on top (lemon verbena?) felt a touch silly. Look at me being all discerning and such.
Yet another two-for-one plate. This one featured beef tenderloin and short rib. The sides were a smoked fingerling potato (which I adored), roasted garlic, and broccolini. The table was split on which meat they enjoyed the most, but I sided with the short rib.
This is what I’m talking about: a chocolate mousse gateau with a delicate crust made from feuilletine, one of my favorite pastry creations. To say I licked the plate clean is an understatement. This was good, y’all!
And lastly, some off-menu doughnuts. Can’t go wrong with those…
All it all, it was a lovely meal on a most beautiful night. If you go and it’s warm out, definitely try to nab a table on the patio. It’s worth it.
700 West 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071