craft – Taking mom was more of an excuse for us to eat here again

So we’d eaten here once before. I looked on Yelp for a new place to celebrate my lady’s birthday. During that meal we decided that it was good and worthy of taking my mom for Mother’s Day. Fast forward to now.

It’s a nice restaurant. It’s located near the Century City Mall, surrounded by office buildings. It’s definitely the type of place where food is on the expensive side and you’re celebrating something. Great place for couples, but I think better to bring more people. If you’re a foodie and you’re concerned about overeating, I think bringing more people allows you to order more things to try. And this is certainly the type of restaurant where you’ll want to hop around the menu.

We started with a couple of salads. One, the beet salad, was a repeat from our previous experience. Turns out the lady is huge fan of beets, and the beet salad does not disappoint. How many of you know that there is more than one kind of beet?

I assure you it’s pretty much all beets.

The beet salad was just as good as I remember it. The little bits of cheese contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the beets.

I decided to order an avocado salad to sit next to the beet salad. We have four people, after all! The tomatillo in it was the big winner for me. I don’t like avocado by itself. But I love it when it accompanies things. Like in back bean soup. Or in my street tacos. The spiced peanuts in it were an interesting idea, but overall I feel like this salad was designed to let the avocados that were in it shine. Which was why for me, it fell a little short.

If you’re the type that scoops avocado directly into your mouth after cutting it in half, you’re going to love this.

For the main courses we got Texas Quail over red eye gravy and polenta, diver scallops (another repeat from the first time), a BBQ pork belly sandwich, and the Angus flat iron steak (also a repeat). Sides were Russian potatoes, assorted mushrooms (repeat), and broccoli di Cicco.

I’m not a big fan of bird meat. Something about the texture is gross to me. But mom’s boyfriend enjoyed it. He was surprised by how good the gravy was to the point that he looked it up. And then after looking it up, questioned the waiter about it. The waiter then told us they had their own way of preparing it that wasn’t typical.

How many quails are in there?

The diver scallops are good. I feel like when you order a dish at craft, the main ingredient of the dish is allowed to shine. We’d had them previously, but I think lunch time was a little different. At dinner, we got three scallops. At lunch we got three scallops and maybe a daikon salad?

Nothing overpowering here. The sauce allows the scallops to shine.

We asked the flat iron steak to be cooked medium rare. This is because I trust them to actually cook it medium rare. If I were at another steak restaurant, I’d ask for it medium. We’d had this before but we wanted to make sure everyone got to try it. Again, the steak is the star of the show with everything else just boosting it up.

Can you see the medium rarity? I sure could.

The BBQ pork sandwich was tasty. I was only able to eat half because I was too busy eating all of the other stuff. The sharpness of the cheddar went well with the tender pork. The bread was thick and toasted well. It came with what are doubtless, homemade chips. Simple flavors!

Looks good, right?

Potatoes were a mouthful each. Cooked with the skins still on.

We had to take some home.

I’m pretty sure you can choose to get a specific type of mushroom as a side. We always panic and go for the assortment.

Can you identify them all?

The real surprise was the broccoli. It had some fried something in it. The broccoli was sauteed in lots of oil. There was no bitterness, just broccoli being elevated by the crunchy deliciousness that got mixed in. My mom ended up polishing it off. Highly recommended!

The taste more than makes up for this aesthetically challenged clump of sauteed vegetation.

We shared two desserts. Ricotta Cheesecake with citrus and blood orange sorbet, and almond berry shortcake with market berries and raspberry ice cream.

The cheesecake was good. The sorbet was delicious, reminding me a lot of what we had in Portugal. All the different orange slices though didn’t really mesh well with the cheesecake, which was a little disappointing.

Mmm… blood orange sorbet.

The hit for me was the shortcake, which surprised me because that’s not my usual fare. The cake component was crunchy and pleasant, working well with the cream and berries underneath it. I hit a super tart berry, but no one else had this happen, so I must’ve won the berry lottery. The raspberry ice cream that this was paired with was nothing short of amazing.

Every one was happy at the end. My mom thought since the portions were on the small side, she wasn’t going to get full. I doubt she’s going to be pulling through a drive thru on the way home.

Thanks craft! I’m looking for the next excuse to justify coming back!

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