New restaurants pop up in Los Angeles every week, most of them close a few months later due to the fierce competition in this city and the expectations of a very discriminating clientele. So when Gesso was opened in West Hollywood by the same group that run the Superba restaurant group, there were great expectations and much excitement for this new bold, brash eatery just blocks for established hits such as John and Vinny and Rosaline’.
Gesso’s young executive chef is Doug Miriello, who sharpened his skills in several establishments but most notably as Sous Chef at Gjusta in Venice, one of hottest tickets in town known for its bold and imaginative dishes. Chef Miriello was given the ambitious task of putting together an original, creative and bold menu to inaugurate this new exciting Italian soul restaurant.
And inaugurate it he did, putting together a splendor of delicious dishes which have already catapulted Gesso into the ranks of one of the most-go new eateries in the city. Eater L.A. has just included it in the 17 “essential” new restaurants to try, and in my opinion with full merit and deserving accolades.
Chef Miriello’s menu is bold to say the least, he is not afraid of creating dishes with extravagant and weighty flavors, resulting in some of the boldest food I have come across anywhere in the city. Let’s start with his most simple offerings such as his massive Charred Boule, a deliciously decadent and divine slab of rustic bread slathered in “good butter” and sprinkled with grainy Maldon salt to give it the rustic, satisfying taste and texture you are looking for to accompany the robust plates to follow.
Stand outs for me were the Arancini, fried to perfection and fat with savory rice and cheese that make this fried dish as satisfying as it is delicious. Grilled Persimmon with Burrata – a perfect marriage – just by themselves the flvors marry perfectly but with the addition of the prosciutto, arugula and balsamic vinegar drizzle, it creates a delightful concert of flavors – sweet, salty, creamy, herbaceous all in one bite.
His pizzas are perfect, not too thick and not too thin, crispy to the bite letting the dough tell its story while the toppings complement the opera with both subtlety and great statements – the Sugo Pizza was my favorite!
Main courses abound with bold and brave flavors – my favorite The Harissa Rubbed Chicken accompanied by crispy, crackling thin crusted bread, stewed chick peas and tzatziki sauce. A perfect symphony. Additional savory and bold dishes are the Pan Roasted Corvina, Aspen Ridge Hangar Steak and the Octopus Puttanesca which took me back to my excursions through the seaside towns of Southern Italy.
Gesso is here to stay, it brings to an ever more finicky Los Angeles clientele a selection of original and lip smacking dishes, a magnificent cozy yet vibrant dining room and service which is always provided with a smile, efficient and friendly. The restaurant reflects Chef Miriellos temperament and cooking objectives to perfection and this shows every night in the way this city has received this new and exciting restaurant.
Gesso serves Brunch on the weekends with similarly tasty treats as well as lunch 7 days a week.
Gesso – 801 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles 90046
Tel: 323-544-6240 (Reservations recommended)