Thursday, July 3, 2014

Saint Martha Adds New Flavor to Koreatown.

From the Chef and owners of Tart restaurant comes their newest gift to Los Angeles...Saint Martha. Its in a unassuming strip mall in Koreatown. With a simple plain white sign and only a door to mark its entrance its easy to walk on  by but there's great things happening inside. Inside its a intimate space I would say under 30 seats total. Chef Nick Erven has shifted from the country party vibe of Tart to a more refined menu here at Saint Martha. Hes joined by  Mary Thompson also from Tart (and like Nick pulling double duty at both restaurants) who is not only the manager but a master Sommelier. If you get the chance you should trust her and have her make you a drink from whatever shes feeling that night. 
Personally I am not happy with the photos of the restaurant. The camera malfunctioned and they just don't capture all the effort the kitchen put into these dishes. Favorite dishes. The baby corn dish is amazing. Its basically street corn elevated. You may have never thought about not having to eat the cob before but after this dish you might. A little spicy and great umami flavor from the chicken skin and fish roe. The chicken thighs here are fantastic. They are everything you want in fried chicken. Moist, juicy and just fatty enough. I did tell the owners they should switch out the oat/date puree and make it potatoes and rename it the Buena Park (get it?) The 12 hour smoked brisket is a really fun dish. You got to grab some of the buttery melting fat from the outside while stabbing the center so your bits are balanced fat wise. This dish could make for a fun taco or play on tacos dish with some wraps (rice maybe?) I only had a few faults with the restaurant overall. The sardines me and a dining companion felt were too hard to eat. I am used to bony fish but my throat was not going for the swallowing bones part. I missed the panna cotta which is a signature over at Tart (the raw milk one does not count.) But overall you can feel the passion that the owners, Mary, and Nick have put into this place. Its a spot that has a deep passion for food and should be around for a very long time (think about the fried chicken thing OK guys?)
 740 S Western Ave Los Angeles, CA 90005 

Mary Thompson original 

Duck "ham"

Blood sausage, Jerusalem artichokes, and clams 

Smoked salmon served with the smoke 

Mary Thompson original again. 

Baby corn with roe and chicken skin

Raw milk panna cotta with summer vegetables 

Mushroom, egg, and  brassicas

Diver scallops 

Whole sardines 

Spot prawn with cream of wheat

Chicken thigh with dates and steel cut oats 

Lamb with smoked eggplant 

12 hour smoked brisket with hoisin sauce 

Chef Nick Erven

Peanut butter and jelly semifreddo (cake with ice cream)

 Beet semifreddo (cake with ice cream)

Pretty easy to walk by 

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