BUCATO: SIMPLY BADASS
One word comes to mind when I reflect upon my evening at Evan Funke’s Bucato… BADASS. Bucato is simply a badass restaurant. They do no wrong.
The joint commands respect upon entry with the state of California outlined on the wall with kitchen knifes, the butcher’s knife representing LA.
Then you almost want to salute the place when you turn the corner and see the open kitchen countertop lined with bar stools, and a row of two-top tables from which lucky couples can watch the fireworks show as they dine. There is outdoor seating as well, but why would you not want to watch these artists at work?
Then there is the added nuance of the sweet rolling pin chandeliers that light the restaurant with a yellow hue.
First off. We gotta talk bread people, and not just any bread, we are talking focaccia. And I have never had focaccia like this. I have only known focaccia to be dense, hardened bread. But not here.
It was so light and airy it almost had a sponge-like texture to it. The bread was so extremely moist it wet my fingertips with its rosemary infused extra virgin olive oil. Apparently, it is baked ahead of time and then polished off in the wood burning oven, giving a delicate crispness to the exterior.
I have always maintained that the sign of a really great restaurant always starts with the bread, and my girl and I were delighted.
In her own words the bread was “redonkulous”.
For the evening we went with a German white wine that, I must say, paired well with the dishes I am about to tease your senses with, right now…
Cacio e Pepe (spaghetti alla chitarra, butter, fresh pepper, pecorino Romano cheese)
This particular pasta dish originally birthed in Rome, Italy is a must try. It is a simple dish but I think that it really does a wonderful job of balancing flavors and allowing you to really appreciate the artistry of their homemade pasta.
Traditionally this dish focuses more on the cheese and the pepper. It’s typically very rich pasta that is heavy on pepper so much so that it almost punishes the palate whereas the approach here was more to tease it with those sharp, hot flavors. I enjoyed it immensely.
Freshly made pasta, at this level of professionalism anyway cannot be found easily. Sadly, it just can’t. But Funke has found a master pasta maker, Kosaku Kawamura, who turns out brilliance daily above Bucato’s kitchen.
To learn more about the preparation of spaghetti alla chitarra, check out the link, it will give you a hint to the complexities of this discipline.
Gnocchetti with duck ragu, pecorino stagionato
Gnoccetti is a pasta originating from the island of Sardinia and is often referred to as “little bulls”, which makes a lot of sense because each bite of this dish packed a ton of power. The pasta envelops the richness of the ragu, which with the pieces of duck along with the freshly shredded lightly melted pecorino stagionato on top…
It’s sex on a plate, people.
Pacific Blue Prawns with green garlic salsa verde
Thank God my girl doesn’t eat anything with hoofs because I get to sample dishes that I normally would not order my first time around in a restaurant, and so I had the good fortune to sample this little treat.
It’s a refreshingly light, tingling dish. The salsa verde wasn’t so spicy as to take away at all the sweetness of the prawns. The prawns are seared on either side but the center is slightly undercooked to really bring out the sweetness factor. I also got to suck the brains out of all their heads, each one blasting my mouth with the flavor of the ocean.
Pork Rib Chop with roasted persimmons, blackcurrants, pine nuts, aromi misti
Damn. Just damn. When this dish came to the table I realized why they used the words “rib” and “chop” to describe it, because it is frickin’ HUGE.
(I know, I know it’s the name of the cut but if I can’t have fun on my own blog, where can I?)
The thick pieces of persimmons along with a hint of the black currants balanced the salt with the sweet and added a lot of depth to this already decadent cut of meat. The rib chop was top shelf, juicy and had a great meaty texture.
Every great meal has that “Oh My God, Holy Shit” moment. A split second where your mouth, mind and body is blown away by a swirling tornado of sensory pleasure, and usually it comes from the most unlikely dishes.
Crispy Polenta with wild mushrooms, sunny side up egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano
Gentlemen, forget everything you think you know about testosterone supplements, Viagra or natural aphrodisiacs. Drop the pills, fuck the oysters. Get yourself and your girl a reservation at Bucato and order this dish.
It’s warm. It’s silky. It rich. It coats your body with its creaminess and temps your soul with its licentiousness.
Eat it and I guarantee you and your loved one will be sited for violating California Penal Code 647(a) before leaving the parking lot.
Order at you own risk.
Bucato* is an Italian culinary wonderland that inspires the senses, spoils the palate and simply fucking rocks! Don’t miss out.
*Reservations can only be made the day of. Call at 9:30 am when their lines open as only ten reservations are allowed by phone daily. First come, first serve.
Honorable Mention: The manager, Devert.
Thank you to Bucato for allowing me to take these pictures as I understand and respect your "No Photos" policy. Next time I return, I shall keep my camera to myself. Dear Readers, please honor and respect this policy during your own visits.