I'd say Roy Choi needs a break, but I do keep loving each and every Los Angeles restaurant he continues to open, so I may need to hold my tongue. I'll never forget my first Choi taste of a trio of sweet Korean kogi tacos. Sunny Spot and Chego have their merits, but I push right past them to get to A Frame for the crunchy heirloom pickle starter. As if we didn't have enough great Roy Choi cuisine to eat in Los Angeles, he goes and gives us more, and in typical Choi style he doesn't just stop at one new place to make his mark.
He started his latest venture with POT, a Korean hot pot restaurant on the first floor of the Line Hotel, in where else, Koreatown. You've got a hip bar just outside POT and a small cafe with sweet treats on the same floor.
You go up one floor of the Line Hotel, and you're in another world, and another Roy Choi restaurant, Commissary. There's a wrap around patio with outside seating, and a pool in back for sunbathing. The real beauty though is the large greenhouse that is the centerpiece for the dining room.
It's fun to dine in the greenhouse with hanging plants, nearly all enclosed in glass.
The fun continues with mismatched plates and glassware. The wine list is on index cards sorted in an old recipe box by varietal. It was easy to suggest a wine to friends by passing around the cards I liked best. I picked a French red, a Loire Valley Cab Franc - shocking, I know.
The menu looks like a child's flashcard game featuring different food items. There are sketches of ingredients separated into different priced sections and you simply name an ingredient and put your faith in Roy. Luckily Roy knows what he's doing in the kitchen. Choi stopped eating meat a few years ago, but continues to taste-test what's on his menus for quality sake, so this restaurant is in his new sweet spot. He wanted to elevate the vegetable as others are also currently doing, though you can also find steak and fish options at Commissary, as well as several interesting vegetable and grain dishes.
While I had some trepidation at just ordering "carrots," all fears were quickly pushed aside when roasted carrots arrived with a creamy green sauce that the waitress offered to write down for me. I'd give you the ingredients, but you may be seeing an attempt at it on the blog soon.
A similar green sauce is mixed in with well grilled asparagus and micro greens served on a bright yellow rimmed plate.
A citrus sauce perfectly complemented an order of charred greens with grilled peaches and edible flowers.
Three plump and seared scallops arrived in a delicate red laced China bowl with another citrus sauce and light greens.
Black bass was a beautiful fillet, doused in butter sautéed peas and a savory, warm brown sauce.
Then there's dessert, or "chocolate" as it's simply named on the menu. This could very well be the best Klondike bar you've ever had with a cookie crust and passionfruit ice cream
When things are done well, they don't need to be overcomplicated. I trust Choi and the great seasonal produce we get in Los Angeles, and if you do too, you might just like Commissary as much as I did.
Commissary Restaurant at the Line Hotel
3515 Wilshire Boulevard