10/29/2012 05:42:00 PM

White Truffles Arrive in LA, Let the Decadence Begin

Truffles + parmesan + risotto = Italian classic at Cecconi's
Italian white truffles are one of the most intoxicating delicacies during the fall. What's not to love about the earthy, buttery, musky aroma that it adds to plates of pasta, risotto, pizza or simply over eggs? The best and most prized are those from Alba in the northern Piedmont region of Italy, but they aren't easy to come by nor cheap: the season is only a couple of months long, and the largest nuggets can go for as much as $300,000 a piece. Truffle season is just kicking off here in LA - here's where to find them. Be prepared to splurge.

Chef Vic Casanova just got his first allotment of white truffles this past weekend, and he's using them on classic, traditional dishes like his handmade pastas, all priced around $60 per dish (8432 W. Third St.; 323-782-1778).

White truffles figure prominently on the fall menu at Michael Cimarusti's posh restaurant. Look for them on dishes like a raviolo all' uovo, pasta alla chitarra, risotto, and on soft scrambled eggs with roblochon fondue. Look for the specialties through December (5955 Melrose Ave.; 323-460-4170).

The West Hollywood restaurant has a la carte specialties like white truffle scrambled eggs on toast, and the One-Hundred Dollar Pizza (quail egg, leeks, burrata, and truffle). But there's also a special five-course menu on November 7 featuring dishes like cauliflower and sweet potato soup with truffle, creamy baked quail egg with shaved truffles, and venison medallion with polenta and wild mushrooms. The dinner is $220 per person, or $300 with wine pairings (8764 Melrose Ave.; 310-432-2000).

Chef Mirko Paderno has imported truffles from the Lane and Montferrat areas of Piedmont for the Beverly Hills restaurant. You can get them on the egg-filled raviolo ($125), the Kobe beef hamburger with ricotta cheese ($500), or on the pizzetta al tartufo ($500). Due to limited availability and high demand, these menu items must be pre-ordered 48 hours in advance and reservations must be prepaid (9400 W. Olympic Blvd.; 310-277-5221).

Pumpkin meringue with truffles at Saam/Jill Paider
This Brentwood restaurant has one of the more reasonably priced menus of the lot, ranging from a simple plate of Italian buffalo mozzarella with truffles ($65) to risotto, gnocchi or ravioli topped with truffles ($95 or half order for $60) (2538 San Vicente Blvd.; 310-260-4900).

Josiah Citrin always brings it with truffle season. This year he creates dishes like the rich truffle egg, hand-made tagliatelle with brown butter froth and Parmesan, and a five-cheese agnolotti, all of which are amped up with shaved white truffles ($120 each). You can also add truffles to any dish for $65 a pop (1104 Wilshire Blvd.; 310) 395-0881).

SAAM at The Bazaar
Throughout truffle season, the hidden dining room at the SLS Hotel restaurant features more than 20 courses of truffle-filled bites. The menu features dishes like the pumpkin meringue sandwich with white truffles, and cotton candy truffle "surprises." The decadent affair - $275 per person with $125 optional wine pairings - is available Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings through November 17 (465 S. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-246-5545).

Every year Piero Selvaggio hosts a fabulous white truffle dinner paired with wonderful Piedmontese wines - he was the first to bring white truffles to LA, after all - and this year is a little more special since it's the Santa Monica restaurant's 40th anniversary. The special 10-course white truffle dinner on December 4 will be created by exec chef Nico Chessa and Valentino almuni Luciano Pellegrini, Angelo Auriana and Davide Giova. Barolos from the Valentino cellar will be on hand for pairings; or bring your own magnum for no corkage. The menu begins at $175, and truffles can be added to any course for a $50 supplement each (3115 Pico Blvd.; 310-829-4313).

1 comment :

  1. thanks for sharing....i love the taste of truffles, especially on pasta....and in my personal case, i love your first pic, where the truffles are presented on a wooden chopping board...nice style!
    If somebody is looking for such a board...just visit my page....;-)

    Je vediamo a LA!