January 18, 2013
NoHo, formerly known as North Hollywood, used to be a very blighted area. It was known for burglaries, drug deals, and down trodden folks. But soon after 1993, North Hollywood’s grand resurgence began; with the fantastic appearance of the Noho Arts District, this neighborhood has really had a complete makeover.
Among much of the added touches to the area is the popular Spanish inspired eatery ‘Bow and Truss’. It is easily the leader of the pack. When my old PR friend Henry Eshelman suggested that I try one of his client’s new restaurants, I was very excited. The place offers a Latin inspired fare with a marvelous twist that is just simply delicious.
My waiter Tor, was most inspiring. He must have taken lessons from
Ellen Degeneres, with his non-stop dancing. When he would stop to take your order, he was still doing some serious hip shaking. Besides being quite entertaining, his descriptions of the menu items were all perfectly on point. Tor really added a special sparkle to my otherwise grueling day.
Here’s what I tried:
Artisanal Cheese & Charcuterie: Idiazabal – sheep’s milk, hard cheese,
Blue Picon – cows, goats & sheep’s milk soft cheese.
Serrano, salchichon, chorizo, and house made jam, house mustards, pickled carrots, toasted pepitas, caramelized onions & warm bread. How wonderful is this, all of these homemade condiments are just
delightful. The very large stack of caramelized onions and jams were by far my favorites.
Appertivo y Tacos:
Fried Mahi Mahi Taco (3) – Ecuadorian wild caught Mahi Mahi, cabbage & chipotle aioli.
Pork Belly Taco (3) – with pickled jicama & avocado sauce.
Mixed Mushroom Taco (3) – cotija & pickled jalapenos.
All 3 tacos were fantastic, each with it’s own little nuances.
Green Salad- frisee, arugula, cotija, Mahon, Castelvertrano, pasilla,
pepitas, very refreshing after those hot tacos.
Clam Bowl – Manila clams, sherry broth, andouille, peppers, onions, the clams just popped in my mouth, so fresh and tasty.
Flat Iron Steak – prime cut steak, white beans & peppers, Aji Amarillo
churri, the steak was perfectly cooked, very smokey and moist, the
sides added to this great menu item.
Pan Seared Chicken – Free range airline chicken with black bean puree,
caramelized plantains & red mojo sauce. All this fantastic Spanish
inspired fare, with great attention to detail, this chicken is one more
magical taste treat.
Scallops – saffron polenta, corn & pepper salsa and roasted pepper
sauce. This dish is so amazing, it was my favorite of the night, the
best part is the oh so creamy saffron polenta.
Evolution – clams, shrimp, mussels, chorizo, andouille, morcilla de
arroz, a lot of big flavors, the shell fish is very fresh, and
everything is perfectly cooked.
Albarino – Martin Codax, Rias Baixas 2010, this wine paired well with
any of the shellfish dishes, including the clams and the paella.
Chardonnay – LaMerika, Russian River – this wine was terrific with the Artisanal Cheese and Charcuterie plate.
Garnacha Blanca – Bokish, Lodi 2011 – nice light fruit, very drinkable, and paired great with the Artisanal Cheese & Charcuterie.
Tempranillo – Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2004, this wine very heavy, with a leather tobacco flavor, it went great with the Flat Iron Steak.
South American Reds:
Malbec – Dona Paula Estate, Mendoza, nice fruit forward kick, paired good with Pan Seared Chicken.
Pinot Noir – 24Knots, Monterey Bay, very elegant wine, paired with the meats, as well as The Scallops, also was good with chorizo, andouille sausages in the Paella.
Go Figure – Habiki Whiskey, Aged Dos Maderas Rum, Dry Olorosso Sherry, Fig Syrup and Fresh Grapefruit. This is very unique, bold and fun, give it a try.
The atmosphere was very industrial, but with a nice modern flair. The big open kitchen lends itself to a perfect view of Executive Chef Stefhanie Meyers creations. She earned her chops at John Sedlar’s Playa and Rivera. There is also a very fun patio, scented by thyme and basil from the adjacent garden, with 2 large flat screens that play major sports events. It is completely walled from the street, transports you to the beaches of Spain with crushed granite sand, umbrellas, and an exterior bar. The name ‘Bow and Truss’ reflects the original design element; the bow and truss ceiling. The hydraulic lifts are gone, and so are the days of this place being a body shop. The background jazz music added yet another cool component.
My old friend Ed, from ‘The Joint’, now acts as one of the owners. He runs both ‘Bow and Truss’ and the new up and coming, “The Federal” which I will be reviewing at a later date. Ed sat right across from me and was very helpful in my ordering.
The crowd here is upscale, but casual, everyone handsome and prettier then the next. But truly there is no attitude, just an eager friendly staff, taking care of your every whim. You can also hang at the bar and order your savory courses there; did I mention how affordable the food is? The culinary cocktails are designed by Marcos Tellos and Aidan Demarest of Liquid Assets.
Yes, Noho might be a bit of a schlep for some of us city dwellers, but it is well worth it. You can stroll freely in this eclectic arts area, and stop in at some of the new shops and coffee houses. It is all very safe and very fun, while remaining approachable and relaxed.There are lots of locals out on the streets. I would definitely run back to this great new restaurant and fun new area, time and time again!
Bow & Truss
11122 Magnolia Blvd
North Hollywood, CA