Let’s drop the act for a minute. There are some openings for which, we just cannot play it cool. All the articles (LA Weekly, Eater LA, LA Times, et al.) we’ve read and as many times as we’ve secretly checked out the menu have done nothing but made us more excited for this new excuse to Google maps directions to Little Tokyo. We may not know any shortcuts yet, but once we become regulars at Josef Centeno and Michael Cardenas’ Lazy Ox Canteen (opening Thursday Dec 17), we’ll be able to drive down there with our eyes closed. Or texting.
The Lazy Ox Canteen may sound like just another bar/pub a la The Village Idiot. Not so – their mission is to bring simple, fresh, and perfectly executed cuisine to Little Tokyo. Chef Josef Centeno has been cooking for New Yorkers and Angelenos for years now in establishments like Daniel and La Cote Basque in New York and at Meson G and Opus here in LA, while his partner, owner Michael Cardenas shifted from General Manager at Matsuhisa to owner of Sushi Roku. Needless to say, they’ll take good care of you.
And then there is the issue of the menu. After extensive research, we’ll likely start with their Country Pork Terrine and Cold Brandade Fritters. The Hand-Torn Egg Pasta with Egg, Brown Butter, and Vinegar is right up our alley as is a Grilled Beef Petite Tender with Kennebec Frites.
We’re not saying that Little Tokyo is the new West Hollywood or anything like that. We’re just saying that after a while, you’ll be able to turn off your GPS and navigate your own way there.
Lazy Ox Canteen is located at 241 S. San Pedro Street in Little Tokyo. (213) 626-5299