I’m back in L.A. and can’t wait to share photos from our trip to London and the English countryside! Speaking of London, It’s become so hard for me to try new restaurants when I visit, because I really just want to eat three meals a day at any of Ottolenghi’s locations. If you aren’t familiar, Yotam Ottolenghi is an Israeli-British chef who introduced the world to Middle Eastern cooking with recipes that focus on vibrant vegetable dishes, with genius flavor combinations that will blow your mind. I have three of his cookbooks, one of which I cook from almost weekly. I can guarantee that when my husband oohs and ahhs over dinner, it’s most certainly a recipe from Ottolenghi.
Alas, we have been severely lacking in great Middle Eastern cooking in Los Angeles until recently, when two new acclaimed restaurants dropped on the scene: Kismet and Botanica. While I’m a huge fan of both, today I’m sharing photos from Botanica in Silver Lake because it is hands-down my favorite place to eat right now. One of the owners actually apprenticed for Ottolenghi, and you really can taste the inspiration. The cafe itself is beautiful, and while at first glance could feel very much like a lunch spot, I happen to love going for dinner. The cocktails are unexpected with their nod to botanicals—very much a theme here! The presentation is like a work of art, colorful and deliberate. And then you take a bite: The flavor explosions are certain to send you into fits of glee.
And just when you think it’s reached a fever pitch, you wake up the next morning and reheat those leftovers with some eggs and your own French-pressed coffee you bought next door at LAMILL, and I don’t even know what to tell you. That’s livin’!
The restaurant is also a market that sells fresh produce, wine, olive oil and other fine foods and homewares.
The most exciting crudités of all time.
The Cassoulet Verde is one of my favorite dishes. While not Middle Eastern, it is a Mexican take on a French cassoulet.
Spiced Braised Chicken with Chickpeas & Stonefruit. Incredible! I love the use of yogurt in Middle Eastern cooking.
Photos other than food Ashely Burns Photography