#CarnivorrGoesForGold: Week Three

The #CarnivorrGoesForGold challenge continues with a recap of my visits to Church & State, Vincenti, Odys + Penelope, Redbird, and Chengdu Taste. Stay tuned as I eat at all of Jonathan Gold's Best 101 LA restaurants in 101 days!

14. Church & State (#61 on the #JGOLD101)

I absolutely adored Chef Tony Esnault's classic French bistro, Church & State, located in the Arts District in DTLA.

What I ate: the charcuterie platter (everything from pork rinds to prosciutto to duck!), the gruyere / caramelized onion tart (like a mini pizza, but crunchy), escargot puff pastry (butter!!!), macaroni au gratin (ooey gooey, crispy on top, stringy inside), duck breast (gorgeous plate with golden beet, shaved beet, chocolate in the sauce, and cacao nibs bringing out the sweetness), and the cassoulet with duck, lamb, sausage (perfect as we transition into fall, warm, like a chili, or a stew but super hearty with all of the meat inside). As for dessert, they're famous for their profiteroles (french ice cream sandwiches) which looked gorgeous, but we tried the salted chocolate caramel tart with sea salt on top, and the vanilla creme brûlée (the true test of a French restaurant, they passed with flying colors)!

Watch my full review of Church & State here!

15. Vincenti (#33 on the #JGOLD101)

I went to Vincenti in Brentwood on Mauro Vincenti's birthday, so I got the special treat of eating a surprise menu of all his favorite Italian dishes, of course, with a fantastic wine pairing!

What I ate: the appetizer sampler (bruschetta, arancini balls, grilled shrimp), artichoke soft scrambled eggs with guanciale (my favorite!), branzino ravioli, bucatini alla amatriciana, swordfish with leeks and beans, porchetta (crispy on the outside and served with rosemary potatoes), a variation of the napoleon pastry with the cream on the inside, and panna cotta with fresh fig and red wine sauce.

Watch my full review of Vincenti here!

16. Odys + Penelope (#49 on the #JGOLD101)

My parents and I attempted to order the entire brunch menu at Odys + Penelope - everything was delicious!

What I ate: almond french toast (baked brioche, didn’t even need syrup), sweet potato galette with caramelized bacon, onion, goat cheese and walnuts (very fall), shrimp and “grits” (made from cauliflower = healthy grits!), cornmeal ricotta pancakes with blueberries, and poached eggs on “toast” (thick slices of focaccia, with pesto, tomato, + avocado).

Watch my full review of Odys + Penelope here!

17. Redbird (#52 on the #JGOLD101)

My friend Jo of @losangelesfoodie and I went to Redbird for another incredible brunch, in a stunning setting - an old cathedral rectory turned restaurant!

What I ate: brioche donut with lemon vanilla glaze, Basque baked eggs with short rib, potatoes, and toast, and blueberry ricotta pancakes (sensing a theme here? Well, THESE had blueberries inside instead of on top. and the standout was the VERMONT maple syrup).

Watch my full review of Redbird here!

18. Chengdu Taste (#29 on the #JGOLD101)

Headed to the San Gabriel Valley for a Sichuan pepper feast at Chengdu Taste with my friends Chef Nyesha (check out her new restaurant Native in Santa Monica!) and her boyfriend Chef Charles, the corporate executive chef of iPic. It was so fun to dine out with chefs and analyze all the dishes and ingredients with them!

What I ate: green beans (super cohesive, extremely flavorful with the spicy sauce), tofu, chilled mung bean noodles (not my fave, but an interesting texture), pork dumplings (one of my faves), boiled fish in green peppercorn sauce (SO GOOD!), toothpick lamb (their signature dish), and, of course, smoky plum juice to balance out the numbing Sichuan spice.

Watch my full review of Chengdu Taste here!

...18 down, 83 to go!

Looking for more in-depth reviews of each restaurant? Watch full restaurant recaps on my new Youtube channel!

Follow the #CarnivorrGoesForGold project on Instagram to see live videos with the chefs and behind the scenes at each of the 101 restaurants.