Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Salon at Heirloom L.A.: Looking forward to more decadent dinners

Heirloom's Matt Poley truffleizes the pasta with cauliflower ash
Eastside mainstay Heirloom L.A., which runs the Monday night truck outside Silver Lake wine in addition to catering tons of local events, opened a sweet event space in Eagle Rock last year known as The Salon. Also featuring a patio and garden out back, it would be a super spot for a wedding rehearsal dinner, birthday or just about any other kind of party.
We were invited there to get to know the wines of Bridlewood Winery, paired with an Heirloom dinner. But soon you won't have to wait to be invited -- early in 2013 The Salon will be open to the public for a few nights a week. Normally L.A.'s pop-up restaurants are the only place you can have this kind of intimate dinner party experience, but The Salon will be a more permanent fixture with the kind of decadent and sophisticated comfort food Heirloom is known for. I already knew Matt Poley and Tara Maxey's food manages to pack exceedingly big flavors into everything they make, thanks to the various lasagna cupcakes, turduckens and ham dinners off the truck I've consumed, but the Bridlewood dinner far exceeded the casual bites I've tried elsewhere.
winter gourd (pumpkin) soup with crab apples, crabmeat

Bridlewood's Santa Ynez winery has a beautiful setting 30 miles north of Santa Barbara and sources grapes from around the region, including Monterey Coast and Paso Robles. We started with the 2010 Chardonnay, perfect with a selection of cheeses including Heirloom's housemade almond ricotta. Fairly light-bodied for a Pinot Noir, the Monterey Country Pinot complemented soup made from leftover carving pumpkins - less sweet than pie pumpkins and a lovely foil for lots of lump crabmeat. Each dish incorporates herbs and surprises from Heirloom's garden, like crab apples playing nicely with the crab in the soup.
Chitarra pasta, truffles, pork sausage with fennel, cauliflower ash

Next up was Central Coast Blend 175 -- winemakers were said to have tasted 175 blends before finding the right one -- is made from Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo and Cabernet. The fruity and very drinkable blend was just right with luscious chitarra pasta with housemade pork sausage and truffles.
smoked lamb sirloin, bean ragout, blackberriies
The creamy pasta with a green salad would would have been a perfect dinner all by itself, but this over-the-top dinner went on to smoked lamb loin with broccolini pesto and heirloom beans, paired with Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon.
One of my great embarrassments is to be a omnivorous food lover who's generally not much of a lamb lover. So I took a tiny bite, figuring the pasta would be enough to fill me up if it didn't wow me, and of course tasted one of the best lamb dishes I've had since the Moulin de Mougins near Cannes many moons ago. Intensely smoky meat played off the meaty flavors in the heirloom beans with a hit of garlic in the broccolini and a schmear of cauliflower ash, whatever that is, for a giant plate of flavor that offered something different in every bite.
chocolate ganache cake, salted caramel, cocoa nibs, whipped cream
Dessert was chocolate ganache cake, causing me to once again play the jaded gourmand card. "I'm not that into sweets." "Give me something savory any day," said most of the experienced eaters at the table. We cautiously took a bite of the cake which sounded like it could be something you might get just about anywhere, only to fall into uniform swoons over the salted caramel sauce and the hauntingly-flavored whipped cream topping the warm, bitter, oozing chocolate cake.
Bridlewood Winery will be a great stop next time I'm visiting my daughter in Santa Barbara. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to putting aside my pop-up prudishness to try Heirloom's Salon when it opens to the public early next year.
The Salon 
4126 Verdugo Road
Eagle Rock/Glassell Parkish


Food GPS said...

Cool to hear that Heirloom's Salon is opening to the public in 2013. A restaurant's been the only thing missing from their considerable arsenal.

The Lush Chef said...

Ooo, can't wait to try the place! I love Heirloom LA's food.

Bali Hotels said...

ow, delicious, love this food so much ^_^