Snack Trek: COLORI KITCHEN (Downtown LA)

Do you believe in magic?
Do you believe in magic?

You guys! That picture was taken with NO flash in a dark-ish restaurant! How do you like THEM apples? And how gorgeous is that cheesecake? (Camera+ on the iPhone, in case you’re wondering what I used to take it.)

But let me back up a bit. We didn’t start with dessert. (Not that I would object to such a thing.)

Sam’s aunt (K) was visiting LA and happened to be staying Downtown, so he made a reservation at Colori Kitchen based on some Yelp research. As we walked to the restaurant from the car, K was asking where we might find a hip, happening place around here. And then we walked into Colori. And it was pretty hip and happening. Score.

Colori is an intimate-but-not-too-small place, with the perfect noise level for conversation– not too loud, not creepy quiet. We sat in the back, which was good because– as I mentioned in the post before– I frequented the bathroom. That’s what happens when I attempt to stay hydrated for once.

We started out with the panzanella salad. I THINK the name is a play on words, because pan is bread, ‘ella is mozzarella, and zan might be a veggie. I know in Spanish zanahorias are carrots. Whatever it means, I’m glad to have been introduced to this AMAZING creation. Bread, cucumbers, gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, basil, etc? I’m IN! With bells on. (I gave my cheese to Sam.)

Is that a tomato or a bitty watermelon?

I want to make panzanella the next time I cook for more than just myself. It’s easy, delicious and impressive. The perfect intersection of descriptors. (Seriously– how did I not know about panzanella until now?)

If you like seafood, Colori won’t disappoint. Sam ordered the cioppino (fish stew), which was still boiling when it came to the table. In terms of presentation… it was pretty impressive. (I stood up to take this one… I think we all did.) (Sam’s aunt likes to take pictures of food and interesting street signs… I think we’re kindred spirits.)

Hey guys, I'm the prawn on your dinner.

In case you’re having trouble interpreting the picture– that’s a big bowl of stew, covered by two large crusty pieces of bread, topped off by a chillaxin’ prawn.

Here’s my meal, handmade tagliatelle pasta (really thick linguine, basically) with beef bolognese sauce.

Meet my meat sauce.

Sometimes I give the Yelpers a hard time, but oftentimes they’ll clue me into the best things a restaurant has to offer. People on Yelp RAVED about the cheesecake. I don’t typically like cheesecake and am not really supposed to be eating cheese, but I was compelled to suggest that we order it– even though they also had tiramisu, which is my favorite. (And also technically verboten. Sigh.)

This was like no cheesecake I’d ever had. First of all, it looked like THIS. (Break out the close-up.)

Beautiful, but not too beautiful to eat.

It was ROUND. Genius! And the crust– which was sort of bready, in a good way– was on TOP. The cheesecake itself was so soft and fluffy and light, almost like a mousse or a pudding… and those plate-sauces added a perfect pop of vanilla/berry flavor.

I guess I do like cheesecake, sometimes. It just has to be the RIGHT cheesecake.

Depending on who you take to Colori, I would say one serving of cheesecake was enough for two or three people to share. Maybe four. Maybe one, if you have a big appetite. (We were all being “good,” and we were pretty full before dessert.)

So color me impressed on several levels– atmosphere, food, and my camera worked like a DREAM without flash. The pictures aren’t all 100% perfectly in focus, but it’s good enough for blogging. And I feel a lot less obvious, when I can just take a quick snap sans flash.

Do you guys like Italian?

(Sam sent that to me when he asked if Colori sounded good.)

What’s your favorite Italian place in LA?


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