Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Lazy Ox Canteen

More than one year of dreaming fulfilled.  Expectations exceeded.  The Lazy Ox Canteen was everything S. Irene Vrbalia, LA Times Food Critic, stated in her review on December 21, 2009.  Ever since reading her review, I've been itching to go and scheming about how we could fit it into every excursion into Los Angeles we've taken.  Finally, I was the triumphant victor, and The Lazy Ox Canteen the recipient of my splendiferous victory.

Too eager to wait to lunch at the regular noon hour, an 11:30 reservation was made, and after touring Little Tokyo on foot we arrived at our destination. Sleek exterior and a ruggedly trendy interior draw diners in, just like a moth to the flame.  Chalkboards filled with the day’s delicacies were clouding my judgment.  Was it possible to just order one of everything?

Fortunately, our server saved the day and told us the chalkboard lists the dinner specialties and we would have to return to try out those gems.  ( I love a person who supports my personal agenda of always returning for another meal at an intriguing restaurant!)  

The lunch menu (which includes the ample wine list) was presented, and suddenly we were negotiating with each other about what would be tried.  My lunch companion is an attorney and a darn good negotiator, if you are wondering why something as simple as lunch requires a negotiation.  Plus, he knows my penchant for ordering everything of interest on a menu and was paying for the meal.  The lunchtime settlement reached, the order was placed, and the meal commenced.

First Plate - Pig Ear "Chicharon" with Pickles, Radish & Horseradish.  This was my first experience with Pig Ear and I found it a complex dish and a study in textures.  Soft, crispy, crunchy, warm, cool, with a hint of heat!  Definitely a must try when you visit.

Second Plate - Crispy Surf Clams with Caper & Pickle Aioli.  Oh my God! Possibly the world's replacement for calamari.  I've never had anything fried that was so light and delicate.  A definite conundrum for the health conscious!

Third Plate - (and most likely to be recreated at my home)  Green Barley Salad with Cucumber, Feta & Sherry Vinegar.  This is the perfect summer dish.  We demolished this dish while oohing and aahing over how great it will taste during the 110+ degree summer weather we encounter in the Palm Springs area.

Fourth Plate - Pork & Beef Ragu with Egg Pasta & Fried Egg.  If a photo is worth a 1000 words, then the aroma of this dish is worth a 1000 bites.

Finale - Rice Pudding.   A favorite at our house and not to be missed.  The perfect end to the perfect lunch.

The Lazy Ox Canteen
Located in Historic Little Tokyo
241 South San Pedro Street
Little Tokyo, Downtown L.A., 90012

L.A. Times Review


  1. Thanks Daniel! Where do you teach?

  2. Salivating for that barley salad and those pig ear strip....oh!