Although we expect one or two more rainstorms, sunny days are around the bend. And in SoCal, seasons are driven by menus and beach days. Chefs all over town are featuring lighter, market-driven dishes, capitalizing on farmers market ingredients to get us ready for swimsuits and summer fashions.
At The Bellwether in Studio City, Exec Chef/Co-Owner Ted Hopson focuses his menu on elevated comfort food with a global inspiration, drawing from California produce and fresh ingredients.
Spring dishes include:
Burrata and Asparagus with green goddess and puffed black quinoa: “I really love the way all the flavors on this dish come together,” says Hopson. “The asparagus is lightly steamed so it’s just cooked through, al dente with a bit of snap. Then, the asparagus is tossed with buttermilk green goddess dressing made from yogurt, buttermilk, tarragon, chive, and parsley. This is plated on top of burrata and the whole dish is sprinkled with some crispy black quinoa to add a slight grain flavor and a lot of crunch. It is a simple dish with some amazing springtime flavor!”
Marinated Spring Beans with heart of palm, opal basil, and pickled cherry tomatoes: “A perfect new salad for springtime, it is a mix of a few different beans, including yellow wax beans, snow peas sugar snap peas and romano beans, all steamed until just tender and chilled. We are tossing the beans in a bit of shallot confit and shallot oil with a vinegar made from Italian Timarosso grape. We toss all of that with a healthy amount of opal basil, a purple basil with a stronger flavor than the classic Italian sweet basil. This bean salad is then plated on top of a hearts of palm puree and topped with tomatoes. We were surprised how fast we ate the dish when testing out recipes,” says Hopson.
Citrus Salad with blood orange, heirloom orange, oroblanco, candied mandarinquat, and French olive oil: “This second springtime salad is a fun way to use citrus,” explains Hopson. “This is a dish of 4 different citrus fruits in peak season, blood oranges, heirloom navel oranges, oro blanco (a sweeter white grapefruit) and mandarinquat, a cross between a mandarin and kumquat with very sweet skin and tart flesh. We candy them to make it very pleasing to eat. The salad is dressed with a very high quality French olive oil that has a buttery olive flavor. It really makes the citrus flavors pop.”
Innovative Dining Group’s BOA Steakhouse has rolled out some new vegan menu dishes for the group’s lifestyle-driven steakhouse concept at both WeHo and Santa Monica outposts. The dishes are available for lunch and dinner.
Plant-based options include:
Wild Mushroom Burger: Beyond Beef Patty with arugula aioli and truffle on a potato bun
Stuffed Savoy Cabbage Leaves with butternut squash, dates, pecans and black garlic
Nidi Bolognese with almond ricotta and a mushroom Bolognese
Beet Poke with jalapeno, ginger, and root chips
Cauliflower “Wings” with sweet chili sauce and kimchi