Bestia in Downtown LA

If you ask people from LA what their favorite restaurant is, Bestia seems to be the universal answer. And now it’s mine, too. I knew it from the moment I entered the hip, industrial warehouse in the middle of the up-and-coming Arts District in downtown LA and felt the energy of the crowd around me. Everyone is genuinely excited to be here and all those positive vibes rub off on you.

The passion also extends to the staff, whose enthusiasm for their restaurant was quite impressive. Our sommelier was spot on with his wine picks and even went out of his way to conduct an informal tasting of different bottles so that we would get exactly what we wanted. The wine list is a pretty dense one, so the extra effort to educate us was definitely appreciated.

roasted marrow bone with spinach gnocchetti, crispy breadcrumbs and aged balsamic
spaghetti rustichella with dungeness crab, citrus, calabrian chili, thai basil and onion seeds
agnolotti valla vaccinara – saffron pasta parcel with braised oxtail, brown butter and rosemary

What really converted me into a fan was Bestia’s bone marrow dish. Normally bone marrow is served with a side of toast, but at Bestia it’s the topping to spinach gnocchetti, coating each piece of slightly toasted and al dente pasta in its rich, savory veil. It’s a signature move like putting uni on toast or eggs on pizza that seems unconventional but is pure genius in hindsight.

mussels and clams with housemade spicy ‘nduja sausage, fennel seeds, preserved orange and grilled bread
farro salad with creme fraiche, snap peas, pistachio, basil, mint and pickled sunchoke
smoked chicken liver pate with preserved lemon, herb salad, date vinegar and grilled bread

Bestia is no one-hit wonder, in case you were wondering. The mussels and clams in a spicy, saffron-tinged ‘nduja broth is also a crowd-pleaser, and for something on the lighter side, the minty fresh farro salad is more than dependable. If you want more of the funky meat parts, the chicken liver mousse is a good choice. Liking a dish here is like being a fan of the Beatles, each member is likeable and stands out in its own way, but in all honesty, the bone marrow is the John Lennon of the group.


Bestia
2121 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 514-5724

 

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