Plugs — Jamie Feldmar
L.A. food and drink recs from a seasoned food writer
Plugs* is The Angel’s recs column. Every Saturday, you’ll get six picks — a restaurant, a bar, a shop, an ingredient, a person, and a treat — from someone in Los Angeles who knows what they’re talking about.
#4 is Jamie Feldmar, a food writer, editor, and cookbook author. She is the wordsmith behind the Don Angie cookbook, Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials, Taste & Technique: Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking with Noami Pomeroy, and more titles. She’s penned many very good, fun stories about food and restaurants. And she is the L.A. editor of Resy (which means she edits me!). Like me, she put down roots in Los Angeles after years and years in NYC. Jamie is also a bona fide cool person, and I trust her taste implicitly. So should you! Here are her L.A. plugs.
Restaurant — Baroo
Baroo is back, baby, and it’s all grown up: the experimental strip mall fermentary/laboratory overseen by soft-spoken but wildly creative Korean chef Kwang Uh and his partner Mina Park has graduated to a beautiful sit-down space in the Arts District. The $110 tasting menu changes monthly; but recent highlights included a single seared Hokkaido scallop floating in minari broth and topped with seaweed-laced rice puffs; thin-sliced pork collar with goulash jigae and white kimchi; and a featherweight chamoe melon panna cotta topped with tart sorrel shaved ice and sweet misugaru (a powdery blend of roasted grains) ice cream. The room is warm and understated, the service is on-point, and the cocktail list is heavy on lesser-known Korean spirits (it’s not all soju all the time), making this both a triumphant comeback and a worthy destination for any remotely special occasion.
Bar — The HMS Bounty
I spent my misbegotten youth drinking well whisky at DIY shows and have never lost my taste for a good old-fashioned dive bar. I am also a perennial sucker for anything nautical in theme. The HMS Bounty, on the ground floor of the Gaylord apartment complex in K-Town, is therefore relevant to all of my interests. The bar has a long, weird history, if you’re into that sort of thing; it also has strong drinks, a CD jukebox, and a petite “baseball steak” even if you’re not.
Shop — Thai Street Food Market (Saturday mornings @ Hollywood and Hobart)
Less of a brick-and-mortar shop and more of an event at which to shop, the Saturday morning Thai street food market on the corner of Hollywood and Hobart Blvds is my current favorite place to spend money. Every Saturday from approximately 8-11 a.m., a row of vendors sets up shop on the street, hawking mainly prepared foods to take away—Thai congee with wobbly poached eggs and fresh ginger, fresh-grilled satays, pre-packed stir-fried noodle dishes, curries galore. It seems to be a real community hub, with lots of aunties loading up on meals for the week, and the occasional procession of Buddhist monks. Come early and bring cash.
Ingredient — Sungolds
My biggest shame as a food writer is not liking most raw tomatoes—it’s a texture thing! (I know, I know.) The exception? Sungolds, the miniature, flaming-orange, candy-sweet varietal that is currently entering its final days at the markets. Sungolds rule my world; they are the king of all tomatoes; I am physically incapable of walking past a pint and not purchasing it for immediate consumption (or to burst in a hot pan with olive oil and smear across a piece of toast with soft cheese and a fried egg). Word to the wise: not all orange cherry tomatoes are Sungolds; ask for them by name if you have any doubt.
Person — Sonoko Sakai
Sonoko Sakai is an incredible local teacher and chef and she’s always making something I didn’t know I wanted, from instant dashi powder to tiny, perfect little hand-beaded persimmon pins. I took a hoshigaki (Japanese dried persimmon) making class with her on Zoom during the pandemic and really appreciated her thorough, thoughtful teaching style. (I also really appreciated having a project that involved gently massaging fruit every day for six weeks.) I want to take her soba noodle workshop next, though in the meantime I’ve been enjoying eating her pastry chef-sister Fuyuko Kondo’s kabocha squash bread and apple galettes at the Hollywood Farmers Market.
Treat — ice creams by Ed Cornell
I am such a snob about ice cream and haven’t found a ton that I truly love in L.A. (Okay, yes, there are a few.) Which is why I’m so excited that Ed Cornell from the formerly D.C.-based ice cream company Milk Cult is now out here and getting back into the game, spinning up corn pit and cherry swirl custard and the occasional wildly-over-the-top banana split. He’s ramping up slowly, appearing at the occasional pop-up and restaurant kitchen, but promises that full prints will be finding their way to the city’s finest shoppy shops very soon. (Check IG for details.)
*Eventually, Plugs will be paywalled. But for now, The Angel is entirely free. :)
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