Now that my office is in Downtown LA, I'm always on the hunt for different places to eat that don't cost an arm and a leg for parking. LOC will probably end up replacing Wurstküche as my go to spot after work for the simple reason that it has a good beer and wine selection and most importantly, good food. Wurstküche has a GREAT beer selection, but at some point you need to have something more than a duck and bacon sausage and Belgian fries.
The view from my future seat at LOC
Lazy Ox Canteen is a great addition to downtown LA. It feels like your neighborhood corner restaurant. While Rivera, Chaya, and Drago are important for DTLA, LOC is making good food in a relaxed, cozy enviroment that makes downtown LA feel like a real neighborhood.
LOC was loud (not overly so), lively, and fun. With its small space and open kitchen in the corner of the dining room, there was constant activity as the runners and waiters/waitresses worked the room. People seemed excited to congregate, eat, and interact and the result was a positive energy you could feel throughout the restaurant. The whole staff was very friendly and made us feel welcomed and relaxed as soon as we stepped in the door. While this was opening night, I hope that the great staff and their friendly demeanor stay a part of LOC's DNA. It's what makes you feel like you are at your neighborhood restaurant.
But what about the food? Let's get to it.
Peruvian Corn Nuts
Between the three of us, we had maybe 6 servings of nuts. That's a whole lotta nuts.
Khlii (Moroccan-style beef jerky) with a fried egg and salsa verde
I'm not sure I'd order this again only because there's not a lot of beef jerky. The beef jerky almost felt like a garnish for the egg and toast. When I did catch bits of the beef jerky, it was tasty. Off to the side (not in the picture) was a small dollop of pesto. We couldn't figure out what to do with it. I ate it. That's my philosophy around food: when in doubt, just eat it.
Cod brandade fritters with yuzu aioli
These were some tasty fish balls.
Bacon wrapped terrine with pickled cucumbers
I lost you at bacon wrapped. I was going to write that this was good, but anything bacon wrapped is always good. We ordered the terrine as part of the first course, but it didn't arrive until midway through our main entrees. We attributed it to opening night issues.
Sashimi of yellowtail with castelvetrano olives, pomegranate and fuyu persimmon
There was a lot going on in your mouth when you took a bite of this.
Beef tartare with juniper berry, fried quail egg and olive oil toasted bread
I usually have this with a raw quail egg a la Father's Office. It was nice to mix things up with a sunny side up quail egg.
Sage mountain farm greens with blood orange, roasted beets and buttermilk dressing
We needed some fiber to balance out dinner, so we had a salad. It was drenched in dressing. It needs maybe half the amount of dressing so that it doesn't overpower everything on the plate.
We were all impressed with the entrees ordered.
Braised beef paleron with cream of wheat, kumquats and red wine
Seared branzino with olive tapenade
The branzino was my favorite of the night.
Grilled beef petite tender with kennebec frites and warm marrow butter on toast
The cut was cooked to a perfect medium rare.
We weren't big fans of the desserts. The lemon cake was a little burnt and dry and the tangerine custard just didn't work for us. The desserts need some work and hopefully they'll be improving it over the next few months.
If opening night was any indication, the Lazy Ox Canteen is going to be a popular downtown spot. It has the right mix of food, drinks and energy that is needed for the area. Will I be back to Lazy Ox Canteen? Most definitely. With a diverse menu, good food, good drinks, decent prices and a friendly staff, how much more can you ask for?
Lazy Ox Canteen
241 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012