Los Angeles, CA
I’ve been coming to Eden’s Plate for two years now. Since I’m a carnivore with a huge heart for all of God’s creatures, there’s nothing more important to me than knowing my food has been living outdoors with plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and open space to roam in. I mean how am I expected to enjoy Chicken and Lemon Pot Stickers with Soy-Scallion dipping sauce when I have to imagine chickens in tiny cages with tin roofs in the beating sun, panting like mad? Plus their banana bread pudding is out of this world tasty!
On my most recent visit I took the live menu walk and was introduced to Gerald, a goose who for his entire life was fed only fried pork belly poppers and butter-cream cupcakes. I know what you’re thinking: Lucky Duck! I mean goose. I liked Gerald. It was obvious he’d been living the good life with his own little bachelor pad in the back of the building, able to come and go as he pleased with a pool surrounded by other geese just living it up. I even met his wife, Geraldine! Gerald was so tame, he even came up to me, wagging his goosy rear, as if to say: hi, my liver is delicious, please enjoy it on toast and wash it down with a nice glass of wine, you deserve it. He didn’t have to ask twice. My fresh foie gras was smooth and slightly sweet with a hint of pepper. Serving it with black garlic and pickled plums is anything but typical. So I decided to pair Gerald’s delicious liver with a glass of Bugey-Cerdon Rosé. This really got my palate going.
Next for the main course I was led to a small man-made pond where fish were literally jumping out of the water to catch tiny bits of bruschetta which were being tossed their way by other customers getting to know their food. Then I saw him and I knew he was the one. A perfect twelve-inch tuna glimmering and iridescent in the sun. I decided to call him Big Charlie, after my dad who died from a botched gastric bypass surgery a few years ago. What can I say, he loved his Denny’s Grand Slam breakfasts (which you could not pay me to eat).
It took the staff a good thirty minutes to catch Big Charlie because he was a fast one, but once it was done, I knew it would be no time at all before he was painlessly decapitated and in my mouth. Big Charlie was seared with fresh herbs straight from the garden, along with fresh churned butter from Melba, Eden’s paragon of pampered bovines who’s featured in all the dessert menus. They offer five unique flavors of hand-churned ice cream after all! The basil jalapeno is my personal fav. Followed by the banana chocolate chunk.
Anyway, the creaminess and freshness of the all-natural ingredients complemented the savory flavors of Big Charlie flawlessly! I swear I could taste the truffle oil infused into the bruschetta he lavishly enjoyed since the day he happily hatched from his mother into the paradise of Eden’s pond. Since a light red or strong dry southern French is perfect with seared tuna, I went with a Bourgueil. If it had been chargrilled on the barbecue and served rare like a steak I would have picked a beefier red such as a Syrah. Alas, I was not in the mood for THAT sort of excitement.
So finally, completely doped up with a terrific food buzz, I decided I was ready for dessert. Despite feeling stuffed, I tackled a slice of Eden’s out of this world Dutch Apple pie filled with the same apples that fall from Eden’s trees and right into the mouths of some lucky person’s future goat stew. Besides apples, the goats are also fed only sprouted grains and barley, giving their flesh a mild and much less pungent flavor than if they were fed old tin cans! LOL. I still can’t believe they will eat anything if you’ll let them, I guess because I’m such a picky eater myself.
Overall, this is the best free-range, organic, local, artisanal place to eat in Los Angeles. And if you’re like me and you hate vegetables or the idea that your rabbit tartare grew up housed in dirty windowless sheds and small overcrowded metal cages, then Eden’s Plate is the place to go for that “animal friends with benefits” experience you crave.
Sabra Embury is a book critic for Brooklyn's L Magazine. Her confabulations and fantastications can be found in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Rumpus, Tottenville Review, NANO Fiction and other places. Follow her antics on Twitter @yrubmEarbaS.