el quinto pino + craftbar

usually i stay away from restaurant reviews because they're so subjective. i like my food a little more salty than most, love anything cured, and am a sucker for a jelly doughnut. grace loves things i would never order (scallops, for one), and i'm not a savvy enough eater to judge high quality no matter my preference. i'll always prefer in-n-out over this place, for example. but once in a while i come across a dish really extraordinary and immediately i know i've found something that transcends my biased palate. this was the case recently with the two items below:

spanish chicharrĂ³n at el qunito pino
i can describe it no better than this flickr description of "bag o' bacon." warm, melty fat sandwiched by salty, crunchy skin; it must be what angels eat to watch movies. because only in heaven could you eat this and not immediately fear for your shortened life expectancy. okay, maybe you'd expect me to like this, but trust me, like doesn't even start to cover how i feel about these friends.

house-made ravioli, goat cheese, medjool dates,
hen of the woods at craft bar

there is no meat in this dish, and i still ordered it, which is usually a sign something might be extremely good. (oh, hen of the woods are mushrooms! confusing, right?) while looking at the menu i kept thinking "goat cheese + mushrooms= good, goat cheese + dates= good, mushrooms + dates= yuck, what is going on here?!?" i am happy to report that what is going on is great. the sweetness of the dates plays off the earthy flavor of the mushrooms, and the goat cheese ties it all together with tang. friendly for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
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