Destroying is a negative word, unless it means transforming.
I always daydreamed of what the future would hold from a culinary perspective, as much has been dwelled on its effect on relationships and on fashion. With a penchant for gastronomy and a degree or three in science, I was drawn to Jordan Kahn‘s reputation of being a magician with gastronomy, transferring your every day into freeze dried, texture transforming and optical illusions. Behold, Destroyer, in Culver City Los Angeles. A staple for many lunches to come.
What kind of name was this, that sounded like the name of a young adult fiction dystopian novel? Actually referring to zen and matching with its minimalist black and white exterior, I perched myself for many series of lunches, thoroughly aching for more with a magnetic, magical draw.
DRINKS AND COOKIES
Forget milk and cookies or cocktails and nuts, I opted straight for a vegan matcha cookie in gigantic proportions, alongside chlorophyll enriched green juice and turmeric orange juice. Because, when in LA, blend into the mordant wit of the crowd. With a lack of saccharine sweetness to the cookie, the bitter matcha blended well with the plant and spice forward juices.
Beet and goat cheese salad remixed? This was a snowcapped mountain of fall hued terrains, which unearthed quinoa with a dive into its ceramic bowl. Beets, pumpkin seed butter, blackberry, quinoa and horseradish cream combined to give it a nutty, sour taste that was offset with the sprinkling of ‘cheese powder’. Truly satisfying and decadent.
As a child I always found soup to be a hospital meal, a memory which faded as I devoured more to maintain a slimmer bodice. And yet, I had never come across a soup so sexy. This was an acorn squash soup, broth poured table side. It was imbued with goat gouda cheese, braised radicchio and hazelnuts. With a Dutch cheese that melted with its deep smokiness in my mouth, the sweetness of the soup was cut by the nutty crunch of Italy’s favorite export. Truly a sensual slurp, every single time.
The sandwich variation was gigantic, almost as big as my face, with a fresh scent of cooked tomatoes. Heirloom tomato tartine comprised of chunky country bread, fresh cheese, herbs and tomato confit of red, yellow and green tomatoes. With a fascinating bite despite being soft and juicy, it was one savoy bite that was relentlessly satisfying. Who said size doesn’t matter?
EGGS & POTATOES
With a love for potatoes and potato characters, I opted for a main course with poached egg, baby potatoes, smoked dates and greens. The potatoes were truly the star, multicolored with their skin and melting into the sweet smokiness of the dates, like a Scandinavian spring bite. The poached egg added the nutritional and the moisture, almost unlike an egg but more of a sauce, making it a game-y munch offset with green finery.
VEGAN AVOCADO CONFIT
The vegan avocado version of the confit was a bitter ode to gastronomy, with burnt onion (a scented disaster saved by a sweetly alluring aroma, surprisingly), roasted kale oil, and avocado cured in olive oil. A very strong, purified flavor emerged that could be slurped up with bread, which I would’ve preferred with crackers in some sandy, wheaty texture.
MOUSSE AND VEGGIES
As a salacious savior of deconstructed desserts, the plain appearance of the chocolate mousse was as deceptive as the temperature differences of the frozen iced vegetables beneath its fleshy surface. We had milk chocolate mousse, iced cucumber and toasted almonds, providing the textural offset, temperature offset, and crackle of almonds to make this sweet and fresh combination come to life.
Having emerged from a prodigy high school chemistry and physics class, it was a challenge to walk back between mortal worlds from outer space… but the California sunshine helped destroy the reality and sustain the dreamy emotion.