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Test Kitchen L.A.

9575 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles 90035 | 310-277-0133 | http://www.testkitchenla.com

Nyesha Arrington who is from Southern California created this Taro Dessert plate for the fifth course. It included custard with a vanilla sauce and puffed rice in the middle accompanied by pecan praline crunchies, right, and a delicious vanilla cream with a slice of baby Tahitian coconut on top at Test Kitchen LA on Saturday night. Delicious!

I loved the food, the service, the wine pairing, the up-and-coming chefs, the price and definitely the concept of the Test Kitchen L.A.

Test Kitchen is the product of many people’s efforts, but the concept of Bill Chait and Brian Saltsburg.  Test kitchen is a showcase for chefs by restaurateurs and allows for experimentation and testing of new ideas and concepts.  Visiting chefs will be serving dishes they are working on for future restaurant projects.  Mixologists provide innovative pairing opportunities and avenues to express their craft.  Each chef will be working alone or in consultation with Ricardo Zarate, who is currently finalizing his own restaurant, just upstairs from the discreet yet popular Test Kitchen.

We went Saturday, Oct. 9 and were treated to sweet, light island flavors of Nyesha Arrington. She comes from a multi-ethnic background and comes from Southern California. She cooked at Charlie’s Steakhouse in  Orlando, Fla. but decided to come back to Southern California where she  worked with with Josiah Citrin at his two highly-acclaimed southern California restaurants:  Lemon Moon in Culver City and Mélisse in Santa Monica.   Arrington  further honed her culinary expertise by working with legendary French chef Joël Robuchon at his Michelin and Mobil award-winning Las Vegas restaurants, L’Atelier and The Mansion.

“I love all sorts of food—French, Indian, Asian, Greek—and I’m a big fan of integrating different flavors of cuisine from around the world,” Arrington explains.

On Saturday, we chose the fried plantains with lime and chili accents. Light, crispy and a perfect starter to our six-course meal which we chose to pair with wines chosen for us. Then our courses began to come out. These are the courses we had in order of their arrival and paired with the wine listed with the course.

  1. Caribbean Ground Provisions| Jerk Tomato “Fondue”  with
  2. Snapper |Mussels, curry, basil
  3. Duck | Roti, pineapple, mint
  4. Pork Belly |“Loco Moco”, Tamarind
  5. Taro- Coconut custard| Sugar Cane Rum
  6. Banana Beignet|Grilled mango, Tahitian Vanilla

I enjoyed the Pork Belly course the best. It was braised to a tenderness that was easily handled by a fork. The item that I thought absolutely didn’t work was a thick, clunky roti that served as a mold for the minced duck that was the consistency of pate. I also thought the Taro-Coconut custard was a delight but the Banana Beignet was much too heavy and dense although the mango and Tahitian vanilla sauces were the high point of the course.

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