I’m not as infuriated by avocado toast as many food writers, but I do appreciate toasted bread with ingredients and techniques that aren’t easy to replicate at home. Of course it helps to have a wood-burning oven, which is a key piece of equipment at Love & Salt, the modern Italian restaurant that Guy Gabriele, daughter Sylvie and Chef Michael Fiorelli run in Manhattan Beach. As always, it’s not just having the equipment; it’s knowing what to do with it. Thankfully, Chef Fiorelli and his crew know their way around a wood-burning oven.
Love & Salt’s oven feeds on almond wood and yields terrific Mortadella Toast ($14) for weekend brunch. Silky, fat-pocked pork salumi slices are draped over toasted rye bread, crisped at the edges and dressed with molten Fontina cheese and peppery fried eggs sporting vivid yolks. Each plate comes with arugula and pea leaves, which help to cut the richness. Given the name, rest assured that Fiorelli properly seasons food; this toast is no exception.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.