The Clever Root

Spring 2018

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5 2 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t Rather than have the menu go through a seasonal shake-up, NoMad's kitchen team will switch out one dish at a time throughout the year, as the process of adding an item to the menu can be quite involved. "I'll give direc- tions on a dish to people in the kitchen, and then every week we'll do a tasting of all the dishes and provide constructive criticism," Flint explains of the team's creative process. Oftentimes a dish will be influenced by what's in season at the moment, meaning a dish could be on the menu for only two months (or two weeks!) before something new takes its place. Either way, each dish goes through multiple variations before it's considered ready for the dining public. Flint adds: "Some dishes will be great by the second or third at- tempt, some will take months, and oftentimes we'll never get it right and we'll have to take things in another direction." It is this tireless pursuit of perfection that leads to expertly-executed dishes, like a vibrantly green whipped fava bean hummus with herbed ricotta and crispy lavash, or the famous roast chicken for two, an indulgent performance of a dish that involves bringing a perfectly butter-basted roasted chicken adorned with a bouquet garni to your table, after which it is whisked away to be plated into two dishes: The breast, which has a foie gras brioche stuffing under its skin, is served with a black truffle jus, and the leg meat, which is deboned and placed in a coquette with a brown butter zabaglione sauce that's been through an ISI-charger, leaving it creamy and impossibly light, served with chives and the crispy chicken skin. It could be over-the-top and ostentatious, if it wasn't the most delicious and perfectly cooked chicken you've ever had. From the brasserie-style dining in the lobby, to the coffee bar that sells house- made pastries in the morning and serves up cocktails at night, Flint is adamant that it's not just the dining in mezzanine that upholds NoMad's high standards. "I want people to have the same experience, whether they're a foodie or a hotel guest. A room-service club sandwich should have the same standard as our roast chicken." A Place to Wet Your Whistle Cocktails at the NoMad are given equal weight as its food, courtesy of Bar Director Leo Robitschek. Another Make It Nice veteran, Robitschek had a hand in developing the cocktail programs at Eleven Madison Park and the New York branch of NoMad. The beverage program at the Los Angeles location features NoMad classics like the Nod to Nothing with PHOTO: BENOIT LINERO Christ Flint worked at Eleven Madison Park and NoMad in New York before moving to Los Angeles to take the reins as the Executive Chef at NoMad. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NOMAD Hummus gets a colorful and flavorful update with whipped fava beans, herbed ricotta, and crispy lavash. Fresh, locally-sourced vegetables are used in simple yet visually stunning dishes, like broccoli variations with black rice, cured egg yolk and lemon.

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