4/24/2012 11:28:00 AM

Best Things We Ate Last Week in LA: A Duo at Freddy Smalls

Buffalo Deviled Eggs
There is no one name Freddy Smalls at Freddy Smalls Bar + Kitchen - one of the owners just liked the sound of the name. And it stuck. Which is not to say that Freddy hasn't taken on a life of his own. There's a late night (10 PM-1 AM) get-together of industry professionals, who gather for a drink on the house as "Friends of Freddy S." And there's a spirits tasting from 9:30 to 10:30 PM called "Night School with Mr. Smalls."

Mr. Big at Mr. Smalls is 28-year-old chef Charlie Parker - who's cooked in the past with David Kinch at Manresa and Rene Redzepi at Noma. (He was supposed to work with Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck, but British Customs wouldn't let him pass with a suitcase full of knives.) Last year, he left Plum in Oakland for Freddy Smalls in West LA. And he arrived with a suitcase full of both knives - and dishes that rank as Best Things.

We thought has seen everything that could be done with deviled eggs - until we encountered chef Parker's buffalo deviled eggs ($4 each) - mixed with Pt. Ryes blue cheese, Parker's own hot sauce - and topped with slivers of crispy chicken skin, making for a devilishly good hard-cooked egg that's both spicy and crunchy at the same time.

And then, there are his fried brussels sprouts ($8) - a prep that stands like a colossus above the others. They're fried to the nearside of burnt, tossed with smoked goat cheese and a vinegary apple cider glaze. We may have bridled at the sprouts served by our moms. But Charlie Parker's are pure culinary jazz.
Fried Brussels Sprouts

11520 W. Pico Blvd., West LA (310-479-3000).


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