In celebration of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Faith and Flower eschews the spare, modern aesthetic in vogue nowadays in favor of a plush, luxurious look. Sumptuous tufted sofas line the space, beautiful plates sit at the tables and in the entryway hangs a chandelier that would make even Jay Gatsby envious. The decor also pays homage to downtown LA's historical entertainment ties: the host stand is the original ticket booth from a downtown theater, and one of the doors forming a feature wall is from one of Bob Hope's dressing rooms. You can keep your concrete floors and exposed Edison bulbs; I absolutely adored this space.
Behind the bar is mixologist Michael Lay, who has previously worked with Coastal Luxury Management at Restaurant 1833 and Rose. Rabbit. Lie. The cocktail program features both updated takes on throwback drinks as well as original recipes.
The Stormy Phosphate with Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum, lime gum, acid phosphate, and house-brewed ginger beer was fizzy with a nice ginger kick.
The English Milk Punch was made with Smith & Cross, Appleton and Barcardi Rums, Bulleit Bourbon, Battavia Arack, Pernod Absinthe, pineapple, sencha tea, and milk clarification (a process that takes three days). The complex but deceptively simple-looking drink was incredibly smooth and balanced-- our favorite of the night.
The refreshing Angel's Flight combined Denizen's Rum, yuzu, and palm sugar and was finished with a keffir lime leaf.
Properly boozed up, we began with a plate of Deviled Jidori Eggs in which deviled eggs were spiced up with a cap of kimchi and sprinkling of Korean chili.
One of the evening's standout bites arrived next: the Spring Garlic Soup, a creamy, garlicky bowl teeming with confit pork shoulder, yellow wax beans, and the most darling miniature black pepper biscuits. This might just be my new favorite soup in town.
We enjoyed munching on these creamy Crushed New Potatoes with vadouvan-spiced creme fraiche, which were tender with a few delightfully crispy bites mixed in.
Another favorite of the evening was the piquant Dungeness Crab Toast in which chunks of succulent crab, jicama, pickled sea beans, diced avocado and "Green Goddess aioli" were layered upon a slab of thick, crusty toast. No skimping here! Nearly every bite of this refreshing toast yielded a taste of crab.
The Braised Boneless Veal Shortrib, arriving atop a bed of barley polenta and sweet and sour cabbage, was almost impossibly juicy. The veal's crown of greens nicely brightened up the dish's hearty flavors.
My friend Cathy of Gastronomy Blog who'd dined here the night before let me know that the pastas were not to be missed. We heeded her advice and ordered the Oxtail Agnolotti, a plate of pillowy, al dente pasta filled with shredded oxtail and bathed in bone marrow butter. Tangerine salsa and puffs of beef tendon chicharrones set the dish in motion. This inventive rendition of a familiar dish really hit the mark for us.
Our final savory course was the one that most caught my eye-- the Eggs Benedict Pizza, a decadent marriage of bacon strips, eggs, spinach, and hollandaise drizzles atop a chewy, nicely charred crust. This is the perfect dinner indulgence... or hangover cure!
My choice for dessert was the Goat Yogurt Panna Cotta, a crisp, abstract plate of creamy goat's milk panna cotta and icy yuzu granite accompanied by puffed wild rice, honey and laced with bee pollen. I combined a little panna cotta, honey and wild rice in each bite and finished with the granite. Yum.
It was the Stumptown Coffee Bean Creme that called Justin's name, a whimsical plate with dollops of thick coffee creme, star anise meringue, a quenelle of coconut sorbet and shreds of almond sponge. From the pure coffee flavor of the cream to the unique, sponge-like texture of the cake, everything about this dessert was pretty remarkable.
Faith and Flower is an outstanding addition to the downtown LA dining scene in an area in need of it. If the restaurant is this strong right out of the gate, I can't wait to see what happens next.
Faith and Flower
705 W. 9th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
*Food and drink were hosted.