Sometimes it takes Dine LA to get me to finally go try a place my friends have been raving about for years. Nearly every food lover I know in Los Angeles has been trying to get me to Lazy Ox Canteen and I am very happy to report that not only did I finally go, but I loved it It’s always nice when expectations of good things are met by good things!
Dine LA has a special $20 three course lunch here that is well worth the sojourn to Little Tokyo downtown. Since my chosen entree alone would have been $20 on the regular menu, I opted for the special even though I am not a big dessert eater, I figured my friend could eat my dessert along with hers (she did).
It was a challenge to decide which of the starters to order, so we each got one of the vegetables so we could taste both. She ordered the roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, apple and lemon. After one taste, she said “This is how my Mom used to make it”! It had a wonderful smoky roasted bacon flavor without being greasy and will surely convert non Brussels sprouts lovers (especially those who love bacon).
I ordered the bowl of greens with Tuscan kale, spinach and baby broccoli. The oyster mushrooms and preserved lemon in the dish added a depth of flavor and varying texture that made this dish remarkable. I will definitely reorder this dish the next time I come here.
After asking our waitress whether she preferred the fried chicken or the pulled short rib sandwich, my friend went with the recommendation of the pulled short rib. It was her favorite short rib sandwich of all time. With a hint of all spice in the meat, tomato confit, and a side of Keenebec fries, this was a meltingly tender and richly flavored plate of comfort food for a cold day (even though it was 79 F today in Los Angeles, my friend still enjoyed every bite:)
I ordered the Artic Char with garlic chips, buerre blanc, rapini and a fingerling potato. The fish was done very well, i.e., not over nor under cooked, but it wasn’t spectacular like the fish I recently had at Church & State. The rich sauce was just a bit too heavy without adding enough ommph to the fish, though I loved the garlic chips and the rapini.
The butterscotch pudding with peanut butter cookie was light enough for those who want a creamy dessert but don’t have the room for a heavy sweet at the end of a meal. I tasted both the pudding & the cookie and if I were chose a dessert, I would choose this one.
The rice pudding with caramel and pinenut crumb was much more filling and much richer in texture and taste. If you are a fan of rice pudding or want something denser at the end of your repast, this would be the dessert for you.
Considering the plethora of places I have yet to try in Los Angeles (not to mention the world:), I’m glad to have checked out the Lazy Ox and found my expectations for inventive well executed food met with expertise. The Lazy Ox may be a bit out of the way, but once you taste their food, you won’t be lazy about coming to eat here.