I like to think I know my way around a restaurant menu pretty well -- after all, I read restaurant reviews the way horseracing fans devour the Racing Form. It was the alfajores on the dessert menu at Grace that got me thinking, though -- what does the average diner do when confronted with a trendy, inventive modern menu? I worry about my poor boyfriend, the Rhode Island diner, who will eat anything but has never been to France or Italy, and doesn't know his speck from his lomo. Fortunately the likes of salsify, Prosecco sabayon, tian of farro and sumac are no problem for me. But here's a few items from local menus that have me stumped. I know, I could eventually find the definitions on Google, but Eating L.A. will award the prize of a Zagat 2005 Los Angeles restaurant guide or a sandwich from La Brea Bakery, if you come meet me there, to anyone who wants to come up with explanations for these items. I'll throw in a cookie if you swear you didn't Google.
Jivara beignets (I know a beignet is a fried fritter, but Jivara?)
Snapper with sepia (I thought sepia was a color...do snappers give ink?)
Yuzu-kosha (this turns up three times, with watermelon, macaroons and chicken)
From La Terza:
Battilarda di salumi (ok, got the salami part, but still...)
Costata di bue with risina di spello (completely lost on this one)
Arzua-ulloa ("I'll have some arzua, please, but hold the ulloa.")
Chickpea sofrito (yes, I know chickpeas are garbanzo beans)
Eggplant in saor
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