Go South: Jackson’s Food + Wine

Where do you live?  West Hollywood?  Los Feliz?  Santa Monica?  Downtown?  Think El Segundo is too far for dinner?  I used to think so too.  However, recently I have been exposed to some quite impressive dining delights in the South Bay.  Most recently I attended a tasting at Jackson’s Food + Drink.  Standing between two dominant chains, PF Chang’s and Mccormick and Schmick’s is the black sheep, Jackson’s.  It almost doesn’t fit, because the ambiance and food is on a different level.  It is significantly better.

Just last month, Chef Matt Strong joined the Jacksons’ team and is already making a good-tasting statement.  Strong has previously worked in the kitchens of  Patina in Los Angeles and Jean-Georges in New York City,  as well as Spago and Wolfgang Puck Catering.  Jackson’s is a new endeavor for him and one he is taking quite seriously.

I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down for the five course menu tasting.  Everything looked good on paper, but ink on paper is not food in the mouth, that would be the true test.  Also, my West Hollywood  taste buds were not in familiar territory.  The menu included: Browned Cauliflower with Lemon, Olive Oil, Chile, Mint, and Toasted Pine Nuts; Corn Ravioli with Fresh Crab, English Peas, and Chantrelles; Miso Black Cod with Ginger Buerre Blanc, Sweet Soy Drizzle and Cucumber Salad; Oven Roasted Moroccan Lamb, with Couscous and Dried Fruit Chutney, and lastly dessert; Fresh Berry Pavlova with White Chocolate Whipped Cream and Creme Anglaise.

When the cauliflower massaged my tongue with a bright and pleasant flavor, I knew we were off to a good start.  I also knew that it would be hard to pace myself if the next courses tasted as good as this one.  I’ve learned my lesson too many times to not clean entire plates at tastings!  I was determined to have plenty of room for that lamb, no matter how good the other things were!

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The ravioli was clearly a stand-out.  The sweet corn and crab combo was unique and delightful.  The meaty chantrelles topping the butter-poached pasta was a clever addition.  I am still thinking about it

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The miso black cod sat in the simplicity of mainly it’s own flavor, which was clean and satisfying.  The cucumbers were their own bit of perfection and performed excellently with the cod.

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My heart raced as the succulent looking Moroccan Lamb was placed in front of me.  I gasped.  I was beyond enthralled.  Here was the test. I am a meat-lover through and through.  I can’t get enough and know a good beast when I taste one.  If this lamb tasted as good as it looked, Jacksons would have my Food Pervert stamp of approval.  The red meat glowed against a ground of couscous, hugging itself to the fat and bone as close as possible, making me want to tear it apart even more.  I suppressed my animal, now with knife and fork in paw I gently slid the glow open.  I tasted meat.  Delicious, fresh, simple meat.  The way it should be.  I sliced until the last stubborn bites could only be torn away by teeth.  Food Pervert approved.

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I would bet hundreds of dollars that I knew every dessert in existence…thank God no one was taking bets, because I had never been introduced to a Pavlova until now.  Originating in New Zealand and named for ballerina, Anna Pavlova, it is a meringue-like dessert, almost like a giant macaron!  It has a light and crispy outer shell, while it’s inside is soft and gooey.  Traditionally, it is topped with whipped cream and berries.  The Jacksons take on this unique dessert was definitely tasty, although the white chocolate cream, may have been a bit too sweet.  Not criminal by any means, just my flavor opinion.

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Strong mentioned that he enjoys a cooking style that doesn’t take away from the raw flavor of the main ingredient.  I greatly appreciate this in a chef.  When they know not to add too many accessories to a dish, because the point is to taste the starring meat or vegetable, not the supporting seasonings.  If you understand that concept, you’ve won most of the battle.  Jackson’s Food + Wine impressed me and I assure you, the drive is worth it.  In fact, make an evening out of it, The Beach Cities Arclight is just across the plaza.

For complete information please visit their website!

Until we eat again!

xo,

Tara

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Categories: Dining Event, Restaurant News, Restaurant Review

Author:The Food Pervert

Tara Redfield, The Food Pervert, is an actress, writer, host and obviously food lover. She started her blog and website, "The Food Pervert," in 2010 after an incredible visit to New York City. Her soul acknowledged a genuine passion for food and a desire to share her experiences with friends and family. She’s been sharing ever since. One of her most exciting experiences living in Los Angeles has been working on the TLC reality cooking show, “The Take Home Chef” with the charming and talented Curtis Stone. Redfield has a true love for cooking, dining, travel and story telling. She continues to spread the food love by visiting restaurants, markets, and food festivals as often as possible and sharing her finds through photos and stories. TV Host Representation: Paul Barrutia Commercial Talent 9255 Sunset Blvd. Ste. 505 West Hollywood, CA 90069 310.247.1431

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3 Comments on “Go South: Jackson’s Food + Wine”

  1. Paul Head
    August 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Drove by here today. Looks very tasty. That lamb looks amazing. Good review!

  2. August 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Well get your butt back to WeHo so we can check out Beso together! 😀

  3. Joel
    August 29, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    I have a suggestion, since you love eating out & taking photos, you should start using Forkly app (https://forkly.com/).

    Forkly is a social network for rating restaurant dishes & posting photos of dishes.
    It’s like twitter/instagram/foursquare for foodies!

    It’s an easy simple way to check out photos of what dishes people are eating around you & to easily recommend the dishes you love & discover new dishes/restaurants.

    It’s really fun! It is worth checking out. It is becoming really popular, especially in LA.
    And they have tools for bloggers like you: https://forkly.com/bloggers

    Here is their iPhone app to get started: http://itun.es/iSr4YS

    And keep up the great work with your blog!
    I hope to see you soon on forkly, so I can follow you & see your tastes and ratings =)

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