Saturday, April 28, 2012

Plan Check

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Los Angeles, CA. What have we here? A new American eatery with communal dining and cuisine of intrigue? Or yet another place to dine in Los Angeles saturating the market with American this and that? Luckily, it embodies the former, and sits in LA's "Little Osaka" adjacent to buildings of industry and Japanese eats. Parking is street, put simply, but mind the hour as it can be sometimes difficult to find a space.

Seating expands inside and out, though inside be advised: anyone can join the table, though the servers will do their best to accommodate independent dining. Friends can be made anywhere and in a place that serves unique plates it becomes easy to observe neighboring orders and ask "So, what exactly is that one?" before coming to decision. Items will sound appetizing, but theoretical items may not translate for the taste buds if the orders are examined layer-by-layer. Take it in, look around, ask questions, and eat with an open mind. If the eyes are bigger than the stomach: share plates among the group!

Stuffed Mushroom: roasted portobello, swiss cheese fondue, crispy kale, steak sauce
Stuffed Mushroom - Graphically unappealing but looks were certainly deceiving. The roasted mushroom was topped with swiss, fondue style, enhancing the tang and accented with steak sauce at the base. The 'crispy kale' was mostly decorative, as there was no significant taste adding or taking away from the dish. Each bite held soothing tones, for reasons unexplained, and was warming to the last few bites. A simple share among two to three people or a tasty addition to an individual entree.

Veggie Chips + Avocado Dip: yucca and plantain
Veggie Chips - were easily a favorite and devoured upon arrival. I grew up with variations of plantains and can never seem to stop once I start. A delicate shave and a light fry, each chip was well-cooked and easy to nosh. Yucca is fast-becoming a taste acquired, as I have enjoyed the item in several Brazilian eateries since moving to Los Angeles. The dip accompanying this side dish was a mildly flavored guacamole. Though it did the trick in providing a different texture with the chips, it did not have that 'extra' dash of spice I would have desired.

Chef's Favorite Burger: cheese two ways, bacon two ways, ketchup leather, sunny fried egg, hot sauce
Chef's Favorite Burger - was ordered medium-cooked and brought as requested. In short, the burger was messy: the hot sauce dripped from the corner of my mouth, the bacon broke off onto my plate, the egg yolk leaked with continued bites. The cheese remained adhered to the bun, making up for some of the other bits that just would not stay intact. That aside, it was a fun combo that I certainly got into and the mess I was quickly creating around me spoke very highly of that fact: juicy + crispy = a food party.

Southern Fry: smokey fired jidori chicken, spicy green pimento cheese, duck breast ham, pickles
Southern Fry - was a home-style surprise. The ham, pickles, and cheese were great contributors, but the chicken stood apart. When I crave a fried chicken, I think of my grandmother's crunchy flour-coated chicken, escaping steam, and juicy morsel of chicken heating up my mouth. This chicken fry was so similar that immediately the nostalgic comparison came to mind. The flavors in the exterior were subtly added and the chicken remained succulent and tender - anything but dry. It was a burst of 'good' and that little food party I mentioned previously...continued. 

Sure, it is a bit different, but the spin works at Plan Check. Servers gladly explain the concept and answer questions with utmost courtesy. I have since come back a few times to try their desserts (churros and cream?? yes please!), off-menu items (poutine with pastrami and pickles), and a few other dishes (smokey fried chicken) and all have remained consistently tasty and usually inventive. They make their own pickles, they serve interesting beers and cocktails, but the food is the fun point of interest I will be adding to my restaurant list.


Plan Check
1800 Sawtelle Blvd
West Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 288-6500
www.plancheckbar.com

2 Responses so far.

  1. You took stunning pictures :)

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