When Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson teamed with restaurateurs Jon and Vinny to bring their culinary chops together for Madcapra in DTLA’s Grand Central Market, they struck a chord with the LA food scene. Jonathan Gold confessed in his review that he “could probably survive for a week eating nothing but the stewed lamb with stripes of burnt cabbage and a cushion of bland, soothing freekeh porridge.”
Kramer and Hymanson both hail from the New York food world, having tested their skills at Blue Hill and Glasserie before heading to Cali. Vegetables are the focus, while several of the recipes are based on Kramer’s mother’s cooking and the nourishing flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Before hitting the city’s top spot, get familiar with this Top 5 lineup.
1/Lemony Chicken and Pine Nut Pies
These delicious hand pies are a riff on traditional Israeli chicken soup – and a must-try. A lemony, minty chicken filling is wrapped in filo for the perfect bite of nostalgia.
Boiled, smashed, and fried, these potatoes are perfectly paired with the in-house labneh, which is richer and cheesier than the standard. Macadamia nuts, cured scallop, and Urfa pepper round out the dish.
A deceptively simple dish served with caper yogurt; it will leave you wondering how they made cauliflower taste so good. The secret is in the spices.
4/Jeweled Crispy Rice
What do you know about tahdig? It takes patience, skill, and a good nose not to burn the bottom of the rice pan, and Kismet has all of the above. The rice comes out crispy and golden brown, and it’s topped with dried fruits, nuts, and an egg yolk cracked over. Dig in.
5/Rabbit for Two
This dish was brought over from Glasserie, and for good reason. A huge plate of rabbit served multiple ways– stewed, kebabs, roasted, herbed out, and served with caramelized squash.