Could not authenticate you.followers
Recently I discovered a hidden dining gem in downtown L.A., Strada Eateria + Bar. Not only is it near L.A. Live, it’s just blocks from the Crypto Arena and Los Angeles Convention Center. The interior is designed with contemporary Venetian plaster with artistic curves, multi color lighting and upbeat music. Romanian artwork adorns the walls and a curated video art installation near the large bar area was created by Natasa Prosenc Stearns.
It’s a family affair with Executive Chef Naziana Herascu leading the kitchen to make European and Mediterranean fare, while her husband Julian Andrei exudes hospitality to arriving guests. He strolls throughout the restaurant offering menu recommendations, while simultaneously running the kitchen smoothly. Their son is a server at the restaurant.
Since it was a warm evening, we sat at a table on the tree lined dining terrace and met Andrei as he brought out a bottle and two shot glasses. He filled the glasses with Uncensored Reposado Tequila, which is aged and bottled in Los Angeles. He suggested to sip this tequila slowly while looking over the menu.
We started with mojama on toast. It’s a Mediterranean delicacy consisting of filleted sun-dried tuna spread on toast with chopped green onion, tomatoes and roasted almond. An interesting salad of thinly sliced duck prosciutto served on spinach leaves with chopped walnuts, oranges, peaches, tomatoes, basil and lemon zest was drizzled simply with extra virgin oil. I enjoyed this salad with a signature spicy margarita that was quite refreshing.
Chef Andrei recommended the Indonesian lamb skewers basted in sweet and spicy flavors. Three delicious skewers arrived on a plate with a handful of crunchy shrimp chips.
Strada’s name is derived from the Italian word “street.” Many of the menu items are a blend of Europe and South American street specialties. The ceviche de Peru is made with wild Alaskan cod, lime juice, onion, chopped avocado, tomato, cilantro, virgin oil and chile. Leche de tigre is available upon request for those looking for more spicy heat.
My husband enjoyed a Bitburger Pilsner with a plate of delicious Mici sausages, one of the many street food dishes on the menu. It’s one of the chef’s favorites dishes made with pork and beef that is artfully presented with a beautiful yellow mustard design on a black plate. The kitchen also makes a variety of wood-fired pizzas, a handful of hand-made pastas and some fresh seafood and prime meat dishes to appeal to every palate.
We selected a winning pasta comprised of four ravioli filled with lobster and shrimp and topped with a cognac, charred cherry tomatoes, mushroom and white wine sauce.
One of several desserts on the menu, a dense chocolate cake topped with a berry sauce, whipped cream and chopped nuts, was a delicious end to our meal: “Strada” written on the plate in berry sauce.
A live jazz brunch is offered on Sundays from noon-4 p.m. Not only does Andrei set the stage for a multi-sensory dining experience during dinner, but he also puts on quite a show during brunch. Brunch items such as eggs Benedict, waffles, savory sandwiches and lobster pasta are on the menu.
On Oct. 2-5 Andrei is hosting Strada Fest, where movies, music, art, food and drinks unite. Tickets are available at filmfreeway.com/ StradaFest/ticketsulian.
Strada Eateria + Bar is open for dinner on Tuesday through Sunday from 4:30-10:00 p.m. with an extended late-night menu on Friday and Saturday evening. Happy Hour is Tuesday through Sunday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Park behind TCW between 8th Place and Francisco St., at 980 W. 8th Place, (213)822-4558.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.