Friday, January 28, 2011
Earlier this month Chef Casey Lane launched a brunch menu at his Venice restaurant, The Tasting Kitchen. The highlight of the menu is his signature chicken and waffles ($18). The dish is served with one large waffle, two pieces of chicken, some greens and pitchers of syrup and gravy. This dish is spendy but is one of the top three fried chicken meals I can currently recommend in Los Angeles, along with The Lazy Ox Canteen and Flossie's. (Alas as Joseph Mahon is no longer at Bastide or cooking someplace full time, his amazing fried chicken has been removed from my recommended options.)
The waffle is thicker (less fluffy) than a Belgian waffle, but softer than a traditional small waffle. Kind of medium dense. With some of the maple syrup, it did not last long on my plate despite its large size. The chicken I had was a leg and a boneless piece. They were hot and crispy with a nice ratio of skin/coating to bird. The chicken meat itself was nice and juicy.
The brunch environment at The Tasting Kitchen is so relaxed and comfortable and the food so good, if it were a little less expensive I would be there every Saturday and every Sunday. I can also vouch for the ricotta muffin ($5) which was a nice sweet and savory way to begin the brunch. Brunch cocktails, whether mimosas, bloody marys or signature creations such as the Eye Opener, are the equal in quality and deliciousness to Casey's food. So far weekend brunch is quiet, especially compared to the popularity of the restaurant at dinner. Enjoy the calm while you can; its not likely to last.
The Tasting Kitchen: 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice. Phone: (310) 392-6644. Website: thetastingkitchen.com
Brunch hours: Saturday & Sunday 10:30 am - 2:00 pm