Pardon The Punctuation...Hidden on a quiet street in downtown Los Angeles sits The Factory Kitchen, a sleeping giant of an Italian restaurant. Even though it sits inside what used to be a fish factory...there's nothing fishy about the food. They keep it real and by real I mean real fresh ingredients. If it's not fresh then it's never making its way onto your plate. Chef Angelo Auriana makes sure of that and hits a homerun on your palate with his precisely executed array of dishes. If your not hungry just step in to wet your whistle. They've got a great selection of in-house designed cocktails to take care of business. Here's what I had and what you MUST have if you go.
Steve Maarten: bols genever, lillet blanc, maraschino, and orange bitters. Light and served up this is the perfect start to your meal. If you dig martinis I think you'll want to try this. Not dry but just right.
Mezcali: xicaru mezcal, lemon, serrano, muddled cherry tomatoes, and strawberries. Hot, smokey, spicy, and refreshing in the same sip.
Vinny's Backside: amaro meletti, line juice, ginger beer, and rosemary. The perfect savory summer cocktail. Reminds me of a Moscow Mule.
Noce Nera: templeton rye, amaro lucano, lemon, steens cane syrup, walnut bitters. Shaken with little pieces of ice and served in a stainless martini glass. I love my manhattans and this little number filled the void.
Peperu: soft cheese stuffed sweet and spicy peppers, grana padano, arugula oil. The best way to describe this is unassuming and excellent. The sweetness of the peppers is complimented by the bitterness of the arugula.
Sanremese: local calamari salad, celery, cherry tomato, taggia olives, italian parsley. The calamari is poached and not chewy at all. Tender and full of flavor. The acidity from the tomatoes is balanced with the celery, parsley, and olives.
Focaccina calda di recco al formaggi tradizionale: crescenza, arugula, ligurian olive oil. What an elegantly draped focaccina. The cheese makes your mouth water after the first bite. You can taste how fresh everything is just by smelling. This is a must have dish as you're not going to find it anywhere else in LA.
mandilli di seta: handkerchief pasta, ligurian almond basil pesto. Like a Salvador Dali painting this handkerchief pasta is lays across the plate liking melting clock. The almond pesto conjures Liguria with every bite. If you go to the factory kitchen and have a one dish make sure this is it.
Porchetta: rolled pork belly, aromatic herbs, red onion, carrots, fennel, celery. This is the dish that you smell when you walk into a restaurant and you are wondering the whole time what the hell am I smelling and how do I order it? The aromatic herbs, fennel, onions, and celery do a dance on that pork belly and on your tongue. I was ready to pass out in a good way after eating it.
Pane: multigrain bread pudding, dried cherries, honey gelato, white chocolate sauce, berries. This is just an all-around solid dessert. I love bread pudding and chef killed it...in a good way.
If you're in Los Angeles I want to find a restaurant that is top-notch, legit, and worth every penny. Head on over to The Factory Kitchen and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.