Ace in the Hole
I checked out Testa late last year. I had been walking by for months watching the build out. Recently Chef Sydney Hunter III has taken over the kitchen. And beverage consultant Devon Espinosa lent a hand in the cocktail list development.
Even though it has Irish whiskey, the Ace in the Hole, is an ideal choice for a libation while eating. Though if you know how Jameson is made, you’ll know why this is a lighter Irish whiskey. Jameson was my starter whiskey as I’m sure it was for many others.
Ace in the Hole – Jameson Irish whiskey, Amaro Montenegro, lemon, blueberry grenadine
Tai snapper carpaccio
For appetizers, we had the Tai snapper carpaccio. There are also a couple of other crudos on the menu. I do love raw fish! Next time I’m trying the hamachi and sea bream crudos.
The crispy polenta is Chef Sydney’s ode LA’s street corn. With cotija cheese, this Italian-Mexican mash up is super tasty.
The Hope Passion has all the things I like; whiskey, apple brandy and amaro but I found it a tad too sweet. I would probably cut down on the amaro a bit and let the bourbon and apple brandy take a stronger stance.
Hope Passion – bourbon, apple brandy, Amaro Nonino
The spaghettini with sea urchin was the crowd favorite. The simple pasta was topped by some lovely uni.
The pappardelle was very unusual with the carrot-braised pork. Not being a carrot fan, I just dove into the pasta. However, I can see how the carrots lent an unique sweetness to the pasta sauce.
The Smooth Operator was a great drink, I can have several of these since it’s my usual brown, bitter, stirred drink.
Smooth Operator– rye, amaretto, Benedictine, Cointreau
The blistered Blue Lake green beans was a tasty side to share. I of course loved the avocado. I’m a true LA baby.
How about a variation of a variation? A few weeks before I had the Smoke Break at Testa, I had The Note, the Devon Espinosa’s mezcal margarita variation at The Venue. And although similar, both are really good. This one at Testa has classic Mexican flavors including pineapple, jalepeno pepper and cilantro.
Smoke Break– mezcal, pineapple, jalepeno, lime, cilantro, salt
The half roasted chicken is one of those comfort meals you’ll never make yourself. I don’t care how many simple roasted chicken recipes I’ve seen, I’ll never made it. So I’m glad I can get this dish at Testa. I loved the potatoes, too!
Another good drink to have with food is the Oh Dear. The tequila with the raspberry could make me a raspberry fan. I’m normally not into the pretty berries as I tend to find them mushy tasteless. But in a drink, I’m into it.
Oh Dear– tequila blanco, dry vermouth, raspberry, lemon
Ocean trout has become so popular the last five years. This is another simple dish that I’ll probably never make for myself. I have a tendency to not cook seafood at home as I find it’s difficult to get that perfectly crispy skin. Just run to Testa for this.
The porchetta was a thing of beauty. I shared this with others but I’m getting this all for myself next time.
Normally I’m into Dimmi liqueur but this Dimmi That was also a bit off for me. It was very viscous which normally isn’t a bad thing for a velvety mouth feel. I would almost up the lemon in this drink so it’d be less medicinal as well.
Dimmi That– Dimmi liqueur, pisco, Salers aperitif, lemon, grapefruit twist
sugar snap peas
The sugar snap peas came with lots of greens and lentils. It was almost a surprise to find the peas in a lentils dish. I love lentils so I’m all about this dish. This was a side dish but this would be a good main for a vegetarian.
peanut butter sttraciatella
I was so full that I didn’t think I could make it to dessert but I did. #mintystruggle
Luckily the peanut butter straciatella was a nice little bite of PB and chocolate.
grilled Grand Mariner cake
And let them eat cake! The Grand Mariner cake was a beautifully grilled. Is this more like a cake for breakfast situation? Because I’m down for morning pastries if so.
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