Restaurant: Factory Kitchen [1, 2]
Location: 1300 Factory Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90013. (213) 996-6000
Date: December 6, 2014
Rating: Wow! Best Italian in LA?
The Factory Kitchen serves traditional Italian fare in the heart of the thriving Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. This trattoria-style restaurant is the product of a long-standing friendship between Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana.
The neighborhood is a bit scary, but inside is modern and busy.
2010 Borgo del Tiglio (Nicola Manferrari) Collio Studio di Bianco. AG 95. Weightless, crystalline and pure, the 2010 Studio di Bianco appears to float on the palate. White pear, crushed rocks, oyster shells and lime jump from the glass. A beautifully delineated, vibrant wine, the 2010 captures the best qualities of the year. Stylistically, the 2010 is brighter and more focused than the 2011, with a bit less body but more sheer drive and personality. What a gorgeous wine this is.
ortolana – field greens, spring onion, radicchio, dates, goat cheese, champagne vinaigrette.
pancotto. duck egg, red potato vellutata, sautéed greens, semolina bread crostone, speck.
But the speck was on the side for the convenience of the non meat eaters.
When you get all the elements together really a fabulous breakfasty bite.
focaccina funghi – crescenza, foraged mushrooms, ligurian olive oil, parsley.
barberosse gratinate – oven baked sliced beets casserole, melted asiago.
Beets baked with cheese? Aka beet lasagna? Kind of an odd concept and not altogether successful.
mandilli di seta. handkerchief pasta, ligurian almond basil pesto.
I can not say enough good things about this pasta. The texture was amazing. It’s soft and all folded over. The pesto is hyperblended to a very fine texture as well, and it tastes so Ligurian. Here you can see some “genuine” examples, and this one tonight was as good as any I’ve ever had in Liguria (I’ve spent about a week there). The chef can’t get the right pine-nuts so he uses blanched almonds instead. It works.
casonzei – veal, pork, sausage filled pasta, cured pork, butter, pancetta.
agavin: This also is a stunningly authentic pasta. It normally comes with a butter and sage sauce, but Liz (correctly) thought the sage wouldn’t work with the Burgundy and switched it out for sweat pancetta. There is a wonderful rice quality to the handmade pasta and the butter / parm sauce. You get pasta like this in the North, near Mantua and Verona. Sweet and buttery at the same time. Wonderful.
1990 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia Barbaresco Sorì Paitin. 92 points. Dark roasted nose (not pruney or overripe), chocolate powder, roasted coffee, dark fruit, fennel, celery salt – savory aspects. Deep and dark. Cloves. Thick and dark on the palate with coffee, blackberry. Thick dusty tannins, dry, soy, sweet fruit at the end palate and finish. Not profound but quite tasty and refined.
spigola – pan sautéed imported wild bass filet, baby artichokes, basil.
triglie – seared mediterranean red mullet, san marzano dop, foraged mushrooms.
Had that fishy red mullet thing going on.
porchetta – rolled pork belly, aromatic herbs, red onion, carrots, fennel, celery.
At first I was like, hmmm, just pork? No sauce? Seemed a little dull in concept. But as I ate through this fellow, it was one hell of a delicious meat. Subtle rich flavors and just plain delicious.
patate novelle – oven roasted new potatoes, fine herbs.
cime di broccoli – broccoli di cicco, shallots, crushed chili flakes.
ortaggi all’agro – steamed kale, green chard, spinach, shallots, ligurian olive oil.
crostata – chocolate filling, feuillitine crunch, red wine poached pears.
cannoli – ricotta filling, pistachios, orange marmalade.
My friend Liz claims this is the best cannoli she’s had. I’ll go so far to say it’s one of the best I’ve had in LA. And it was REALLY good with perfect crunch, soft ricotta, citrus. But it didn’t have that cinnamon / nutmeg bit I love, or the candied citrus quality you’ll often find in Sicily. Still, very very good. These ones from the Philadelphia Italian market are also fabulous if you can’t make it to Sicily.
bigné – banana pudding filled cream puffs, butterscotch sauce, prailine grains.
I don’t even like banana and this was delicious.
All in all, on my second visit, still a great meal. Most dishes were delicious, and particularly the pastas, which feel authentically Italian — and I’m a pasta fiend with a lot of Italian trips under my belt.