A.O.C. continues to be my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. The food price is right around my budget, new space is larger and has so much character. Suzanne Goin is a legend in LA, and A.O.C. stands on its own. I still remember the day I went to their first location. The food was still memorable, and left me wanting more from the city. Here is the link to the older A.O.C., and back when I was starting this food blog.
The farmer’s plate was so vibrant and hearty. It is exactly what I imagine a farmer would eat. Whatever there was plenty of, grill it, pair it with some nice bread and call it a meal. The summer vegetables included squash and eggplant. the chicpea puree, muhammara, burrata, and grilled toast gave the dish the added flavor and vibrance. I am a meat-eater at heart, but this vegetable plate made me a vegetable lover.
Another healthy and flavorful dish was the grilled peaches, ricotta, and pistachio aillade. The ricotta and grilled peaches were so good together. Adding the pistachios and greens just gave it a nice balance of crunch and bitterness. This was my favorite of the night.
The arroz negro is a classic here and I always get this dish. The squid was cooked so perfectly tender and the saffron aioli rounds out the whole dish perfectly. The green onion gives a nice balance to the rich squid ink and rice.
The halibut dish was spectacular. Paired with tomato, dungeness crab, and horseradish creme fraiche, everything was creamy and fresh. Seafood done simply is all that is required. The acidity from the tomatoes gave the dish a nice bite and contrast from the buttery fish and sea salty crab.
The location is so perfect and steps upon steps better than their last location down the street. The outdoor seating is some of the best in Los Angeles, and the Spanish architecture is prevalent throughout the restaurant. The food is always consistently perfect here and I always come back. I hate going to the same restaurants over and over, but at A.O.C., I don’t mind it much.