Flora Street Cafe
Stephan Pyles still dazzles at this Arts District gem. From the dramatic decor to the seasonal, fancifully plated dishes, the experience is mesmerizing. Throughout a meal of unexpected ingredients and exciting flavors, we felt we were taking in a performance. Our appetizer, smoked steelhead trout ceviche, was a still life of thin, sashimi-like fish slices surrounded by a spiral of wasabi cream; sliced, tart kumquats; chunks of plantain and hearts of palm; a jammy mound of pineapple tomatillo; and caviar-like orbs of finger-lime pulp. Halibut cloaked in a white mole sauce came flanked with tender fava beans, topped with delicate shoestring potatoes and fresh chives. The many parts of the pistachio mousse dessert resembled a sculpture of sea shells clustered on the ocean floor, almost—but not quite—too pretty to eat.
Cuisine: New American