Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Factory Kitchen in the Arts District is Now Open! Best Pasta in DTLA?

The Factory Kitchen just opened in the Arts District in DTLA. Its the newest place to help with the arts district revitalization and its budding gourmet food scene. When you are driving up you may think you took a wrong turn and you are in some industrial park. The line of parked cars is the only indicator that you are somewhere people want to be late at night. Inside The Factory Kitchen uses the pillars that are part of the 90 year old building it inhabits as part of its charm. Its a little offbeat. Honestly? Unless I am sitting on a concrete floor I pretty much only care about the food. And The Factory Kitchen delivers again and again and again. 
Matteo Ferdinandi worked with Wolfgang Puck for a long time and you can tell right away hes been in the food game for a while.But his real magic moment was getting Chef Angelo Auriana. The Chef is amazing. He pretty much dismisses American Italian food which I have seen so many chefs that have come to America say about their country's cuisine. The thing is Chef Angelo has the stuff to stand behind his words. Every dish was pretty close to perfection. Everything he made seemed so simple but had a total mastery of the ingredients. I appreciated that the Chef understood and used American flour because really its the best flour out there for pasta on the global market. He then told me he sends it to Italy to be milled...per his specification. I asked him why not use a local mill and he shrugged. He uses what he knows. And thats the theme of The Factory Kitchen.
When you try the food you are eating Chef Angelo's best memories of Italy. There's quite a few rules to follow (never use pesto as a condiment) and a 13 thousand dollar pasta machine in the mix but everything turns out beautifully. Their take on pizza are very simple flatbreads. The Cotto (pictured below) is a simple flatbread stuffed with fresh cheese and topped with ham. I told the Chef he could sell that on a street cart and be fine. The hot cheese, bread and ham was like a cross between an awesome sandwich and a pizza. We also tried the stuffed peppers with cheese. They are actually cold (a surprise) but also amazingly good. But compared to the other dishes I would say pasta, pasta, pasta for dishes to try all night. Then yes it came to pasta. We tried the mandilli di seta, (hancherf pasta with pesto), fusilli amatriciana (a tomato sauce pasta with pork jowl) and gnocchi (a small rounded chewy pasta made with egg). All were amazing. All were unique. The pesto was like the worlds simplest lasagna. Cold pesto (it gets heated by the pasta) pasta and cheese. Just amazing in how the Chef had masterfully assembled three ingredients. The pork jowl is a red sauce on another level. The addition of the pork gives it this rich deep mouth feel you only get when you cook down connective tissue until its like butter. The gnocchi to put it simply....cheesy clouds. You will eat all of them until your stomach cries mercy. You need to try this place.

Cannoli - ricotta filling, pistachios, orange marmalade

porchetta - rolled pork belly, red onion, carrots, fennel, celery


Twisting pasta 

Filling pasta

gnocchi malfatti - ricotta~semolina~parsley gnocchi, reggiano cream, pistachio

fusilli amatriciana - long gragnano pasta, pork jowl, onion, spicy tomato passata

In the back they were prepping fish. Super fresh stuff. 

Making pasta!

mandilli di seta - handkerchief pasta, ligurian almond basil pesto, fiore sardo  
cotto - crescenza, imported ham, rosemary

prosciutto - parma prosciutto 24 months, lightly fried sage dough, stracciatella

13 thousand dollar pasta machine 

Viewing station of the kitchen 

Meat slicer 

The kitchen 

peperu - soft cheese stuffed sweet and spicy peppers, grana padano, arugula oil

Menu its changing soon though

<a href=""><img alt="The Factory Kitchen on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>

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