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Restaurants | IN THE MOOD

Heirloom Tomatoes

August 10, 2000|JESSICA STRAND

There's a world of antique tomato varieties out there, with names like Cherokee Purple, Striped German and Lemon Boy.

* Jozu: The heirloom tomato salad with smoked tofu, an occasional special, is cubes of red, yellow and orange tomatoes topped with smoked tofu and a Parmesan tuile, in a pickled green onion vinaigrette. (Heirloom tomato salad, $8.50.) Jozu, 8360 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 655-5600.

* Axe: On special you might find an antipasto caprese of heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, or coriander-crusted diver scallops in an heirloom tomato salsa. (Caprese, $8; heirloom tomato salsa, $12.) Axe, 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 664-9787.

* Melisse: Chef-owner Josiah Citrin serves an heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad alongside one of haricots verts in red onion vinaigrette. He also makes a tomato soup served over a sweet garlic flan and, for dessert, a poached tomato stuffed with 12 ingredients including peaches, ginger and nuts, topped off with vanilla ice cream, ginger caramel and Melisse syrup. (Heirloom tomato salad, $14; Mandarin tomato soup, $13; tomato stuffed with 12 flavors, $8.) Melisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 395-0881.

* Aubergine: On Tim Goodell's five-course tasting menu, you'll find a salad of red and yellow tomatoes, watermelon and toasted coriander in tarragon vinaigrette. On the nine-course menu, a delicate sweet corn panna cotta is served with an heirloom tomato salad drizzled with 100-year-old balsamic vinegar. (Five-course menu, $75; nine-course menu, $90.) Aubergine, 508 29th St., Newport Beach, (949) 723-4150.

* Four Oaks: Around the rim of a plate, chef Peter Roelant arranges a puree of yellow tomatoes. In the middle he puts red heirloom tomatoes in tarragon-infused oil, chopped organic greens and a delicate potato goat cheese tart. (Heirloom tomato salad with a potato tart, lunch $14, dinner $16.) Four Oaks, 2181 N. Beverly Glen Blvd., Bel-Air, (310) 470-2265.

* Traxx: Chef Tara Thomas serves one tomato salad garnished with lacy wild fennel leaves and another with ginger-infused olive oil and snipped chives. (Heirloom and wild fennel salad, $8.50; heirloom tomato salad with ginger-infused olive oil, $8.50.) Traxx, Union Station, 800 Alameda St., L.A., (213) 625-1999.

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