Jason Michaud opened Local on September 2 in the former Silver Lake home of his Eastside Mercantile antique shop, specializing in seasonal California cuisine. He started out slow, only offering breakfast and lunch. Now he’s up to three meals per day, and dinner is especially compelling. Michaud is using high-quality ingredients, big portions and high value. It’s a winning combination.
Michaud’s L.A. resume is highlighted by a long run at Steven Arroyo’s Cobras & Matadors as executive chef/kitchen manager. Since then, he’s consulted downtown at The Redwood Bar & Grill and at Three Drunken Goats in Montrose.
When it comes to décor, all of Local’s furniture is antique. Inside, diners will find an exhibition kitchen and a mounted neon wall clock that reads “Local.” There’s an airy outdoor patio that’s especially atmospheric at dinner, when candles cast a glow on diners. Order at the counter at breakfast and lunch. It’s full service at dinner.
We began dinner with one of the specials: half of a roasted artichoke strewn with meaty strips of King trumpet mushrooms. A squeeze of lemon and garlic aioli dipping sauce completed the dish.
Our artichoke journey continued with Artichoke and Goat Cheese Croquettes ($9) with thin, crisp sheathes, big chunks of choke and creamy gobs of goat cheese. The plate was finished with mixed greens, several squiggles of balsamic and red pepper puree.
Osso Bucco Style Braised Pork Shank on Brioche ($11) was basically a hearty pork stew with carrots, onions and whole garlic cloves. The meat was bone-in and tender.
Striped Bass on Potato Corn Pancake ($14) featured a filet of flaky white fish. Michaud paired with bass a springy sweet corn pancake that was studded with corn kernels, a leek and another dollop of aioli.
Michaud blanketed Macaroni and Cheese ($6) with a crisp sheet of California cheddar, included creamy Bechamel and finished with mozzarella. He folded Butternut Squash Succotash ($7) with corn kernels, cream and sugar. It was too tangy for my taste.
Michaud sold all of his buttermilk lime tarts by the time we ordered dessert, but we found an admirable substitute: hot roasted plums and pluots with a scoop of house-made vanilla ice cream.
Michaud hasn’t owned a restaurant for long, but he’s already meeting the needs of Silver Lakers by offering locally grown, eco-friendly comfort food with plenty of flavor and a relatively low price-point, even at dinner.
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