The Foundry on Melrose

There are a few places in LA that hold me back from trying something new, simply because I know I will always get a fabulous meal. The Foundry, by Eric Greenspan, is one of those places. 
Last night, I got some fabulous news. I began an internship with a few weeks ago doing editorial pieces for their blog. I was told yesterday that I got bumped up, and am now a news aggregator, who will write news stories for the blog EVERY DAY. Talk about intense pressure… oh ya… and I start Thursday. GAH! The point is, I deserved to go out to a fabulous dinner, and after looking for a few new places to try, Cellar 55 being booked (I haven’t been, and have wanted to for a long time), I went back to one of my first loves, The Foundry. 
I know what you are thinking; why eat the same food again? Ah ha!! Well let me tell you why last night was as exciting as my first night to eat at this wonderful place. The Foundry completely redid their menu. The only thing that remains is the Classics, most of which I have had, which leaves me to a whole 4/5 of a menu not tried. Mmmmm…. Another thing, the Foundry, even in the way it used to be, always changes it up. There are times you go, and they just start passing out samples of things they are testing in the kitchen. The “bread” you get at your table is always something new. Mini biscuits with honey butter. Puffed dough something or other. Last night, it was this delicious salted poppyseed thing that was a mix between a roll and a biscuit served simply with butter. It was divine.

The night started off with a cocktail. The Foundry has a great bar, with some inventive drinks I haven’t seen before. Being a whiskey drinker myself, I got this bourbon lemon ginger drink. It is called the Greenspan’s Reserve and had bourbon / lemon / ginger / angostura bitters. I had never heard of this particular kind of bitters, so I was intrigued. I looked it up, and apparently, instead of focusing on a citrus flavor like traditional bitters, it is bitters made of water, 45.6% alcohol, gentian root, and vegetable flavoring extracts by House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago. Whatever it was, it was delicious. The sugar is was rimmed with was sweet and tart at the same time, and the cocktail itself didn’t have an overpowering bourbon taste. What was also really cool was the ice; if you look closely, instead of using a handful of cubes of ice, The Foundry freezes a large block of ice and places it in the middle of the drink. With a lack of surface area, as opposed to many small cubes, the drink does not get watered down, while still keeping the entire drink cold. Delish!
The menu this time around is focused on small bites. The idea is for everyone to order a few things as one meal. This allows the diner to taste more and have an overall better culinary experience. My handsome date Jacob and I did just that… and boy was it delicious!
Charred “Wedge” Salad
bleu cheese / grape / olives / garlic
Foundry Tots
bleu cheese fondue / violet mustard
The Charred Wedge Salad was my favorite thing. I could have eaten 4 of those for dinner and called it a night. It was this warm, charred, explosion of flavor. The garlic was sliced so then and then crisped up. The blue cheese was sensational. Everything just went so well together. So well in fact, I took a piece of my poppy roll… and sopped up all the leftover juices.  The tater tots were  like little clouds of potato air. Unlike any tot I have ever eaten. The lavender mustard it came with was divine, but the blue cheese fondue could have been done without. It really didn’t add much except for heavy flavor on heavy flavor.
Fried Chicken
butternut squash waffles / maple bourbon syrup
Foundry Burger
winter condiments / Hawaiian bread / onion rings
The only complaint I had that night was with the fried chicken. I love Eric Greenspan, but he has got to improve this dish. The problem was, the breading just didn’t stick. It tasted delicious, but it all fell off the chicken, leaving a rubbery piece of skin underneath. The Foundry needs to either do away with the skin, and figure out how to stick that coating, or to make sure that skin gets crispy and the breading does not fall off. It was not appetizing biting into crisp crust, rubbery skin, and then chicken. The flavor though, was very good. I liked the spice on the breading, the maple syrup was delicious, and the waffles were crisp little deserts. Yum!
The Foundry Burger is a classic for a reason. The meat is exceptional. Its served on Hawaiian bread (can you say best idea ever), has a bacon jam, comes with winder condiments (onion compote of some sort), and is topped with onion rings. PLUS it has this special aoili mayo, little cornichon pickles and some other accoutrements. It brings a smile to Jacob’s face every time he enjoys it and I have to say it is one of my favorite burgers. The flavor just is married so well, AND, the meat is so good, I don’t even care if it is pink in the middle! Now that is saying something.
Earl Grey Creme Brulee
candied lemon / honey scones
Last but not least, we shared this little Earl Grey Creme Brulee. It was a close call though, because the other two deserts where Sour Cherry Beignets (almond cherry marmalade) and Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding (banana / peanut butter sauce). Tell me your mouth is not watering right now. Mine was, but I am a creme brulee sucker, and had to take the plunge. I didn’t care for the honey scone too much; I didn’t think it needed to be there. But the creme brulee itself was rich with earl grey flavor and had that delicious crust. My favorite part may have been the candied lemon… honestly… I want to spinkle those little suckers on a lot of things. Like, toast with butter and candied lemon? Eric Greenspan, get on it!!
Note: I was a little sad about one thing; the Chocolate Soup. This used to be one of my favorite deserts in LA, and it is no longer on The Foundry menu. My birthday is coming up… and I wonder if Mr. Greenspan would make it for me. I mean, he did give the birthday girl at the table next to us a free grilled cheese sandwich (this is not ANY grilled cheese… it is Grilled Cheese on raisin bread with apricot caper puree and tallegio. Oh and you can add short ribs too if you want). I would also take a birthday girl grilled cheese, don’t get me wrong, but… where is my beloved Chocolate Soup??
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