Best Cal-Med Comfort Food


Cutting-edge tongue-thrashing cuisine and teaspoon-sized prix-fixe tidbits have their place, but when you're in the mood for a big platter of comfort food — homey, satisfying sustenance that soothes the soul as it pleasures the belly — head to Nex, Hi-Suk Dong's hip little temple to the deep, rich flavors of Southern Europe and Northern California. Plump green beans are grilled and served with a creamy poached egg and Green Goddess dressing. Velvety gnocchi studded with chunks of porcini mushroom drip with luscious mascarpone. There are marrow bones rich with fatty, gooey goodness; creamy risotto ribboned with chanterelles, squash blossoms, and truffle oil; free-range chickens pressed with a brick and baked until tender, juicy, and golden; medium-rare lamb noisettes served on a bed of buttery puréed cauliflower. Soups and chowders are warm, thick, and nourishing; lusty pasta dishes are crafted on the premises; and for dessert you can indulge in a lush, dark, bittersweet chocolate pot de crème or crunchy spears of hot-from-the-fryer funnel cake with raspberry sauce. Perfectly crafted classic cocktails and the wonderfully eclectic wine list provide comforts of their own.

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