Vegan and vegetarian friends, this review is not for you. I suggest you re-visit my wonderful plant based dining at Crossroads or Sadtha because I got nothing for you at b.o.s. Carnivore friends, have I got the perfect place for you. I should probably add, Adventurous Carnivores, I have a great new recommendation that you're going to eat up. If your prepared to take your meat to the next level, beyond the filet, then strap in because we're going to Little Tokyo.
b.o.s., which stands for beef offal sustainable, is located in the Honda Plaza. You'll walk right past the lines of fish lovers at Sushi Gen, to begin your beef tour. You'll see some of the usual suspects on the menu like traditional cuts of NY Strip and Ribeye, but b.o.s. differentiates itself by not stopping there. They don't believe in wasting any part of the animal so you'll also see tripe, tongue, brain and bone marrow to name a few. Luckily b.o.s is working with quality beef that is grass fed in sustainably grazed pastures with no hormones or antibiotics used. So if you're going to eat animals, these are very good ones.
We jumped right into the action with grilled miso heart. If you haven't eaten a lot of heart, you might look at a beautifully prepared piece, seared on the outside, lightly pink on the inside, and think, this is going to melt in my mouth. It won't, but don't be disappointed, it will do other things. With a "heart-ier" texture (I couldn't help myself), you'll chew a little more, but also be rewarded with a range of deeper flavors. The smoke from the grill was prominent and the yuzu miso vinaigrette provided a nice acidic contrast.
More acidic still was the sizzling thai tongue, served and cooked tableside. This was sweeter, more tender with a great pop of flavor from the aromatic thai spice and chili lime sauce. You're going to want this.
I'm a huge fan of sweetbreads, but never have I had them lightly breaded and fried and served in a taco until I hit b.o.s. It was better than any fried fish taco that I've eaten and the finishing salsa, sriracha sour cream and pickled radish rounded out the bite perfectly.
As the bone marrow came out,I wondered if it could compare to my current favorite bone marrow dish in LA at Bestia. While b.o.s.' preparation didn't include pasta to incorporate the marrow, it did have a 61 degree poached egg, housemade furikake and sesame gochujang paste to mix and top on a crusty piece of bread. The whole concoction was fatty, but elegant at the same time. It was luscious, unctuous and sublime.
Hopefully my vegan friends have already tuned out because there were scant vegetables to be found on any of our dishes, but you're not here to increase your kale intake. Eat a lot of greens before you come, but there is an acceptable heirloom tomato salad and you can also find a few sides of other vegs like beans or squash.
We did receive miso mashed potatoes with our next dish, but the liquidy texture and overall taste weren't doing it for me. I was on a meat mission and they were holding me up. We pressed on with a prime dry aged ribeye served with large pads of garlic parsley butter. Interestingly, the most "ordinary" cut of meat was my least favorite. It didn't have the range and depth of the other dishes, or maybe my taste buds were just on over drive after the first course.
The whole braised oxtail was a beautiful sight to behold, served with a smattering of roasted vegetables and a garlic yogurt sauce. The oxtail was juicy and fatty in parts, and smeared with a potent Moroccan Ras El Hanout. It's picture perfect, except for maybe the after shot.
We finished our meat tour with a beef tendon risotto, spiked with lardon, pea sprouts and english peas. It was creamy with a light sweetness, leading us nicely into dessert.
Another beautiful display arrived with a trio of desserts including vanilla panna cotta, cheesecake with a nice crumbly crust and a decadent brioche bread pudding. Stewed strawberries and cherries were a welcome sight as I began to think about the seafood week I'd have ahead to recover from my meat-extravaganza.
Sadly, I must now tell you the bad news. b.o.s. closed on September 27. According to their website:
b.o.s. opened in October 2013 with the vision of popularizing sustainable nose-to-tail dining in Los Angeles. In some ways, we feel that we have achieved that goal. We were blessed with great media coverage, and the response from you, our valued customers, has been amazing. We are truly humbled that so many of our guests enjoyed Chef David's dishes and embraced the concept of nose-to-tail.
We took a significant risk launching this ambitious concept in Little Tokyo, and unfortunately we were not able to generate enough buzz to sustain the high costs of maintaining a nose-to-tail restaurant in this location.
Rumor has it the chef is in talks to cook elsewhere, so stay tuned for more info!