Saturday, November 13, 2010

'Tis The Season!: Drago Centro's New Fall Desserts

After 5 years of eating my ass off and writing about some of it, not just any mishmash of sugar and butter will make me close my eyes in tasty euphoria anymore. As if it wasn't hardcore enough to hail from a family of dedicated Pan Dulce and Chocolate enthusiasts, these last 8 months have particularly swayed me to sweet side of life.

Aside from the conventional "too sweet" component of desserts. Its the subtleties of these venerated acts organized decadence that have recently been brought to my attention. Taking into account things like the philosophy of it. What is the logic of the chosen ingredients? What is the reasoning of their processing choice?

And it is through this deeper meditations on our dearly loved sweet endings to meals that my affinity for fine dessert is all the more tenacious.

Truffled Hot Chocolate (Edited)
Spiced Hot Chocolate With Black Truffle Foam: By Jashmine Corpuz

So the elusive "O.M.G-Swooooon" dessert moment came to me yesterday at the bar of Drago Centro.

Just when I was beginning to wonder if I would ever experience it again. Leave it to the crafty ways of Pastry Chef Jashmine Corpuz to sweep me off my feet yet again with her refined execution of dessert and its ceaseless transience through the seasons.

It was a nippy night in downtown L.A and in front of me lay a pee-wee sized teacup filled with "Spiced Hot Chocolate with Truffle Foam" as Jashmine described it. My mouth nearly dropped in disbelief upon my latino form of clarification by reiterating the same phrase twice to confirm things ie. "truffle, truffle?!?!"

I took it upon my nose for sensual investigation and immediately felt like one of those cartoons where the character was being reeled in by the the nearby delicious aroma (in the shape of a hand!).

At first sip, I was hypnotized. I don't even think cloud 9 could have been as pleasurable as this lightly speckled tantalizing whip of treasured fungi. Upon deeper gulp, you would get the two layers of 7-Spice Chocolate. First the thin and milky part than the the stuff that dreams are made of...the thick bottom where everything would settle. Cardamon, cinnamon, green peppercorn were the only ones I was able to discern since they were pretty damn balanced with each other. It had been a while since my last "epiphany" food moment and I had missed the feeling dearly. I bathed in the textural contrast and sweet and savory interplays of it all and did a better job cleaning the tiny teacup than the most joshing of dishwashers would had done.

But I digress, this was only a special amuse for the things to come.

Coppa: Italian For Sundae! Well, Kinda...

She sent out her very own superlative rendition of that classic Italian dessert known as the Coppa. For the international dessert chumps out there, its kind of like an Italian version of a Sundae...made with Gelato of course!

Her version payed sincere homage to the gusty winds and earlier sunsets by way of the delicate slices of poached persimmon that sat along with creamy, Brown Butter Gelato, Brown Sugar Caramel, a crispy Pepita brittle and her very own Pumpkin Bread that she bakes herself from nearby Scarborough Farms Pumpkins

Pine Nut Tart (edited)
Pine Nut Crostata: Fried Rosemary, Goat Cheese Gelato, Prosecco-Pear Puree

It was a night of sweet awesomeness as she followed it up with a Pine Nut Crostata that was what a Pecan Pie would end up like if it took a vacation to Europe. The pine nuts were glazed and the crust dangerously flaky. The light goat cheese gelato just hinted of its goatiness. The pears were ripe and heightened with the crisp prosecco. And keeping true to her signature savory touch, a couple of sprigs of fried rosemary added its redolent crisp!

Taking the time to eat these edible sweet descriptions of the changing seasons, I was pleasantly reminded that 'tis the season! Turkey, spice and now...desserts just as nice!

Drago Centro
525 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071-2200
(213) 228-8998

Desserts $9

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