Kerstin Kühn: Brunch-only restaurant, Trois Familia

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st December 2015
In her latest piece, Los Angeles-based food writer Kerstin Kühn checks out a new brunch spot called Trois Familia from three of the city’s most celebrated chefs. Trois-Familia-3If there are two things that the people of Los Angeles love more than anything else in the world, they are brunch and Mexican food. So when culinary hotshots Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo open a restaurant mashing up these two foodie fixations, its success is pretty much guaranteed. Trois Familia is a new brunch-only restaurant bringing together Mexican, California and French cuisines with a menu that features plenty of eggs and lots of spice. It launched last month in Silver Lake, LA’s notorious hipster neighbourhood, and the social media frenzy that followed almost broke the internet. If you’re unfamiliar with Lefebvre, Shook and Dotolo, they’re LA’s ultimate badass chef trio who are behind some of the city’s most lionised restaurants. You might recognise French-born Lefebvre (a former Alain Passard and Marc Meneau disciple) from The Taste TV show with Nigella Lawson, while Shook and Dotolo are the chef-owners of Animal and Son of a Gun. Trois Familia is the three chefs’ third collaboration, after fine dining restaurant Trois Mec and French bistro Petit Trois in West Hollywood, where Lefebvre dons the whites. But this is the first restaurant where all three of them are cooking. Open from 10am to 3pm everyday, Trois Familia operates on a first-come first-served basis: you put your name down on the list and when a space becomes available they call you. On weekends you may have to wait for some time to get a seat – but if you get your name down before 3pm, you will be fed.Crispy Hasbrown Chilaquiles The menu draws on LA’s Mexican heritage but cleverly blends in French influences from Lefebvre and elements of California cuisine creating dishes that are entirely innovative and new. Take the beet tartar tostada, for instance. A California take on the classic French beef tartar – the beets are tossed with mayonnaise and cornichons – it is served on a crispy tortilla with a drizzle of lime and avocado milk. It’s familiar yet completely unfamiliar at the same time but most of all it’s absolutely delicious. Meanwhile a perfectly crispy hash brown chilaquiles served with a sunny side up egg and cojita cheese ($9.75/£6.45) comes with a salsa, which – aptly called “macho” – has so much of a kick it will put hairs on your chest. But no matter how much your mouth burns with each bite, you can’t help but go back for more. Other egg dishes include soft scrambled eggs and skirt steak tacos with black bean salsa ($22.95/£15); and poached egg with chorizo jam, potato mousseline and marigold flowers ($10.85/£7.15). Then there are the double decker potato tacos with crème fraîche and carrot pico de gallo, which deliver a gentler heat on the palate and offer a great textural contrast. And for dessert there’s churro French toast ($9.75/£6.45). A churro is a fried-pastry snack primarily sold as a street food, which hasn’t really got anything to do with French toast. But at Trois Familia, the chefs bring together the flavours of a churro – cinnamon and Mexican chocolate – in the form of French toast. Added is a filling of custard and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream making for a dish that is incredibly sweet and ridiculously indulgent. Beet Tartar Tostada2Like its sister restaurants, Trois Familia is set in one of LA’s many strip malls. This might seem like an odd choice of location for a restaurant from three celebrated chefs but from a business point of view it makes complete sense as lower overheads allow for the offering to be accessible to a much broader market. “We love strip malls,” says Dotolo. “They’re part of Los Angeles culture and some of the best sushi restaurants in the city are found in strip malls. It’s not something new; it’s something old that we’re just continuing.” There are communal picnic tables with help-yourself baskets of cutlery, drinks (no alcohol) are served in metal cups and waiters are casual, down to earth and friendly yet professional and informed. With no reservations and a menu of Mexican-French-California creations that are clever, fun and delicious, Trois Familia is a concept that genially captures the zeitgeist of LA’s diverse food scene. It’s casual but sophisticated, with a focus on high quality ingredients and a non-conformist attitude towards culinary experimentation that truly embraces the city’s unique cultural diversity. And just like the three chefs themselves, it’s a restaurant that knows what it’s doing but it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

>>> Trois Familia: (Overly-indulgent) Brunch for two, excluding service: $70 (£46)

    Kerstin Kühn is a freelance food and travel writer, Kerstin_Kuhnspecialising in restaurant and chef stories. The former restaurant editor of Caterer and Hotelkeeper, she relocated from London to Los Angeles in 2013, where she lives on the city’s trendy East Side. With a vast network of chefs from around the world, Kerstin has profiled the likes of Michel Roux, Heston Blumenthal, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, the Roca brothers and Massimo Bottura. She is a regular contributor to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, FOUR Magazine, M&C Report and Spinney’s Food, and also writes her own blog, La Goulue. You can follow Kerstin on Twitter @LaGoulue_ >>>Read more of Kerstin's blogs here.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st December 2015

Kerstin Kühn: Brunch-only restaurant, Trois Familia