Food blogging was just something I fell into. Fairly young in the food blogging world at less than 2 years, I feel like I still have a lot to see and learn. When I had the chance to sit down and dine with other like minded food bloggers, I jumped at the chance. TC from Sinosoul invited me and a couple of food bloggers to join him at The Parish. Along with food bloggers @ComiendoenLA and @onemorebiteblog, I knew the night was going to be fun – we were accompanied by good food, great conversations, and a special guest. When I got word that Master Chef Becky Reams would be joining us, my girlfriend was more excited than anybody. The Parish was a perfect spot to have this dinner. The English inspired gastropub served up small plates for the most part — perfect for our group. Excited to try their burger and fried chicken, we food bloggers ordered nearly everything. Let the eating and photographing begin!
We just ate as the items came. The fried olives and chickpeas were alright. If you are a fan of fried pickles, these will tickle your fancy. The salty, briney taste instantly works nicely with the fried exterior. The fried chickpeas were nice too — soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside. It was good first taste of what The Parish had to offer. Oddly, I don’t have a picture of it. Trust me when I say that it is a great way to start!
I normally don’t eat beets. In fact, I don’t eat beets. When someone ordered the beets, I was honestly not excited. I couldn’t be more wrong and more judging of this dish. Topped with mache herbs abd horseradish yogurt, the dish came together so well. The beets were quite fresh and meety and the sauce brought everything together so well. Beets were on my radar again.
The fish and chips was tasty — nothing too out of the ordinary. The batter on the fish was quite impressive. It had a nice light crunch. Chips consisted of a huge potato wedge — great dipped in the sauce.
The poutine fried oysters were an interesting combination. Fried oysters topped a bed of fried and was topped with gravy. The oyster taste was quite pristine. The batter honestly couldn’t have been better. Perfectly seasoned and with a nice crunch, the soft texture of the oyster meat and crunch from batter was a nice textural contrast. This was a home run.
The pork shoulder poutine was nice too. Using the same gravy and fries as the fried oyster poutine, this one was topped with slow roasted pork shoulder. The flavors worked nicely and the tofu cheese curds could have fooled me. The pork was tender — you could tell it was cooked for a long time.
Green beans, just like beats are not a go to item for me. Prepared right though, they can be quite tasty. Theirs was prepared with peaches and cheese. Though an interesting combination, the peaches were sweet and worked with the cheese. If not for the cheese though, this dish would have been boring.
Bone marrow is some of my favorite things in life. Their bone marrow was roasted and baked nicely. The richness of the fat and crostini schmeer was a bite full of flavor. The celery salad helped cut down the rich fat. This wasn’t a must order dish — not everyone loves this stuff. The bone marrow at The Parish was mediocre compared to other places. Still, its bone marrow. Mediocre bone marrow is still bone marrow.
The clams were maybe one of my favorite dishes here. A lover of clams and shellfish, this dish was a winner. The broth in itself was addicting and tasty. The sweetness of the sherry worked nicely in the broth. Leeks and saffron topped the dish to finish it off nicely. Their thick crusted toast was perfect with this dish. Dipped in that savory broth, I kept finding myself going back to this dish.
The lentils daal was a first for me. The Indian dish didn’t look pretty, but it was tasty. With hints of curry and turmeric, the dish was explicitly Indian. The lentils were cooked perfectly and had a nice bite to it. The chutney toast was nice, but the Asian in me wanted a side of rice with this. I wouldn’t necessarily order this dish again, but it was a nice and interesting dish to have tried. Only at a foodie get together like this would I ever have tried daal.
The buttermilk fried chicken was probably my favorite item of the night. The batter was quite crispy — very crispy actually. This kind of crispy was done so cleanly and pure. I didn’t get a feeling of greasiness or an oily mouth eating this chicken. The meat was juicy and everyone wasn’t too salty. It was difficult to find a fault for this dish. The cherry tomatoes and peaches were a nice touch to the chicken. Too bad I had to share with the rest of the table. I would have been find with my own plate of fried chicken.
The burger was another one of my favorites. Cooked a perfect rare to a medium rare, the meat was juicy and flavorful. With picked carrots and arugula, the burger seems like a standard burger. The best part about this burger is that it has Epoisses. Epoisses is a pungent cows milk cheese and actually makes this burger what it is. The soft cheese melted into the burger and every bite had an essence of Epoisses. $17 for a burger is a bit high, but I guess the quality ingredients make up for it.
The pork head pot pie was warm and hearty. Not something traditional, the pork head actually has some good stuff. The meat was tender and just dissolved in your mouth. The gravy was good inside. My favorite would have to have been the dough. Sitting there like a hockey puck, the dough held everything inside. Dense on the inside, I would have liked the dough to be more flaky on the outside. The picked vegetable salad helped balance out the rich gravy and gave everything a nice crunch.
Sticky toffee pudding is always a winner. Theirs had a lava cake with a pool of sticky toffee on the bottom. The cake was nice and the fruit was nice, but the toffee was so addicting. Mixed in with the cake, the toffee was a perfect balance of sweet — not too sweet. The texture was pure and gooey. I am sure our manners were the only thing keeping us from using our fingers to get every little taste. This was delicious!
the berry trifle for me was mediocre. It looked nice with layered cream and berry mixture, but the flavor did not surprise me. It just tasted like cream and berries. It probably didn’t surprise me because of the toffee I had earlier.
The Parish, being fairly new was a nice spot to hang out and eat with fellow food bloggers. The addition of Becky Reams from Master Chef joining us was an added bonus. Though she finished the competition series at 3rd place, I am pretty sure we all thought the same thing — she was the clear winner. Nonetheless, It was a great night with food, drinks, and amazing company. Highlights were the fried oyster poutine, fried chicken, and sticky toffee pudding. I guess the food was great and the company, even better. How better can you have it that eating with like minded people who love food just as much as you do?