Party at the Ox!

Most of the time, when Peter and I go out to dinner, it’s just the two of us at the table. While catching up on the day’s activities, we order cocktails and share a few dishes, trading plates after eating EXACTLY half. I think we’re pretty lucky because after fifteen years together, we still love hanging out, especially when we’re trying a new restaurant. Just look for the couple having the most fun in the room… it’s probably us!

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1Every once in a while we go out with a group of friends, and two of our most recent gatherings have been at the Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo. The first visit was on January 14th after we attended an earthquake fundraiser at TiGeorges Haitian Restaurant on Glendale Blvd. Peter and I, along with our neighbor Nelson, met up with Charles and Robert to find a very successful charity event, but no food (they had just sold out). So after we all made donations, we decided to head downtown and check out the Lazy Ox.

We didn’t have reservations, but hostess Janna (who is gorgeous and super sweet) let us takeover a long, communal table. The giant mirror across the way made it perfect for checking out the entire room.

Our servers were both fantastic. At first “Q” took our orders and helped us decide on a few dishes from the $5 happy hour menu, then Rolando stepped in with recommendations from the regular menu. Having just come from the Haiti charity event, we were all in such great spirits and it showed in what we ordered. Lots of wine, lots of sharing and lots of laughs.

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1I started talking to Rolando about his “day job” at Sage Mountain Farm, and was fascinated to learn that he personally delivers his vegetables to the Lazy Ox. His passion really showed in the way he spoke about the produce, and it also made me slow down and pay more attention to the  food on the plate in front of me. Rolando also works with several other L.A. area restaurants including Locali in Silverlake.

Our second dinner at “the Ox” (as everyone now seems to be calling it), was a couple of weeks after the first. Another group dinner with friends Bob and Andrew, who were entertaining visiting relatives. Another fun night sharing almost unending plates of (albeit daring to some) delicious food.

My favorite bites so far have been the Bӓco (if you go, order this FIRST!), Pig’s Ears, Chicharones Skewers, Braised Beef with Cream of Wheat… oh HECK, just look at the photos below because I’ve fallen for everything on Chef Josef Centeno’s menu!

Peter and I will be back soon, if we can get a reservation that is! Rave reviews (links below) and a recent mention on Jonathan Gold’s “99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die” list will make it a bit more difficult to party at the Ox, but it’s definitely worth the effort!!

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1
The Bӓco: Grilled flatbread, crispy pork belly, arugula and poblano sauce

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1
Truffled Potato Croquettes. Only $5 on Happy Hour Menu

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1
Patatas Bravas with Smoked Paprika

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1
Sea Bream is brick oven roasted, head on, with herbs, lemon, purple baby scallions, and chimichurri

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1
White Soy Marinated Yellowtail with crushed avocado, crispy hash brown and creme fraiche

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Crispy Pig Ears with Horseradish Cream

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Whipped Jersey Cow Ricotta with Sea Salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Toasted Peruvian corn, with spices and lime called cancha

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Pork Chicharones Skewers with poblano sauce at Lazy Ox Canteen. $5 on the Happy Hour Menu.
Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Chicken Livers with Whole-Grain Mustard & Pancetta Crisp $7

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Charred Octopus with Pickled Shallots, Lima Beans and Smoked Paprika $15
Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Salt Cod Brandade Fritters with Grated Mojama & Lemon Vinaigrette $8

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Braised Beef Paleron (pot roast) w/ cream of wheat, kumquats and red wine $23
Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder with Turnips, Quinoa and Walnut Chile Tarator Sauce $21

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Hand-Torn Egg Pasta with Sunny-Side Egg, Brown Butter & Fines Herbs $11

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Sopapillas

All my Lazy Ox Canteen Photos on Flickr

LAZY OX CANTEEN
241 S. San Pedro St.
Little Tokyo, Downtown L.A. 90012
(213) 626-5299
http://www.LazyOxCanteen.com

Dining Dates: 1/14/10 & 2/6/10

99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before you Die by Jonathan Gold

Jonathan Gold’s Review on L.A. Weekly

L.A. Times Review

Jonathan Gold discusses Lazy Ox on KCRW’s Good Food

Check out Anne Fishbein’s BEAUTIFUL photos!

Haiti Fundraiser at TiGeorges’ Chicken

Sage Mountain Farm

Follow the Lazy Ox on Twitter

Lazy Ox Canteen on Urbanspoon

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14 Comments

Filed under Eating Out, Hot Chefs

14 responses to “Party at the Ox!

  1. So much fun that night! Loved, loved Lazy Ox, and want to go back soon. The pictures are making me drool and hungry for more of Chef Centeno’s amazing food.

  2. rolando is the best! saw him at the sage mtn farms @ hollywood farmers market and he comped us a some spring onions :)

  3. Robert G.

    I had a great time with you guys. Food was great!

  4. I hope to dine at THE OX as soon as things simmer down! After that LA Times review, the crowds must be knocking the door down ;-)

  5. Oh my goodness everything looks divine. the whole bream (LOVE whole fish) and the yellowtail.. Everything! I hear it’s the place to be these days so on my next LA trip I’ll be sure to get there!

  6. the food looks so vibrant and full of personality in your photos. i wasn’t sure i loved the two or three bites i had there but i will check it out again since you love it so.

  7. Pingback: Week in Reviews: Two Stars for Bruce Marder’s House Cafe | The Civic Beacon- Musings on Politics, Finance, Media, Culture, Celebrity, Gossip, Michael Reinstein, AtCost.com

  8. So I didn’t think I wanted to have pig ears again (just tried them at Church & State for the first time), but these ones just look so cute and delicious! They are just begging to be eaten!

  9. Can’t wait to go! I LOVE Ronaldo – he’s my farmers market buddy and one of my favorite suppliers. Many of the vegetables cooked up on my blog come from his farm (www.domesticdivasblog.com). He also mentioned to me how much he loved you!

    xoxo
    Jen

  10. This place looks amazing. I’m madly jealous!

  11. That is a massive amount of food, and the Sea Bream looks fantastic. Tell me someone ate the eye! :-) What a wide variety of interesting dishes they provide there.

    Seeing the sopapillas brings back a lot of memories for me. I don’t see them available that much anymore. I can taste the sugar and cinnamon now.

  12. Just kill me now. I live a long ways from LA, but I’d make a pilgramage. That food photographs REALLY WELL.

  13. Great pictures! Everything looks delicious. I’m glad to hear that all of the positive talk going around about them isn’t just hype. I hope I can go soon…because you’ve given me food envy!

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