Daily Slice: Café Livre, Los Angeles
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
I've been a huge supporter of the French/Mediterranean restaurant Café Livre since its November 2011 opening. Chef Farid Zadi's ever expanding menu includes a house made ciabatta that is the best I've had. Ever. A few weeks ago he introduced Spanish cocas which have fast become a favorite local eat.
The Zucchini, Slow Roasted Corn, Tomato Sauce, Gruyere Cheese and Basil ($12) is the highlight of the coca menu. Traditionally, cocas are topped with an array of items, but caramelized onions are frequently in the mix. Instead, Chef Zadi brings sweetness to this dish with the sugary crunch of slow roasted corn. The golden slabs of heirloom tomatoes and rich sauce add juiciness to each bite. Green ribbons of zucchini and basil add crunch and fragrance. Tangy creaminess hides beneath it all from the light touch of Gruyere.
It's a crisp dense crust, glistening in buttery olive oil and filled with a hint of fermented sweetness. The chewy bread is made with a natural starter and high-gluten bread flour. I love gnawing on the leftover crusts with the house made red, green, or habañero harissas. The habañero threatens to kill me everytime. But in an ideal world, the cool heat of the green harissa would be as ubiquitous as a shaker of chili flakes.
About the author: After nearly a decade in Brooklyn, Kelly Bone landed back in Los Angeles where she writes The Vegetarian Foodie. She spends the rest of her time designing office cubicles... you might be sitting in one right now! Follow her on Twitter at @TheVegFoodie