Review round-table: The Spice Table

Bryant Ng has stepped up to the table at his new digs in Downtown’s Little Tokyo. The Spice Table, now open, features traditional dishes from Singapore and Southeast Asia. What else can be said about NG’s new digs? The former chef de cuisine of Mozza has impressed with the decor. Eater LA sums it up nicely; “The interplay of different elements and styles, and use of rustic materials like brick, wood, and copper is a prelude to Ng’s cuisine; simple and unadorned but with an underlying complexity that exudes a great attention to detail.”

The Spice Table has rustic charm, but has elements of modern chic.

Beyond the great feel of the place, with the smoldering wood grill behind the bar, everyone is loving his food. A la mode is smitten for the family style small plate menu: “Sambal fried potatoes are crisp, pillowy, thumb-sized nuggets, tossed in a lip-smacking chili sauce and slivered scallions. The pate and baguette is rich and livery, more deconstructed banh mi sandwich than French appetizer. The curry fried chicken wings show off Ng’s deft hand at spice…” Gourmet Pigs has been searching for the Katong Laksa she had in Singapore. The Laska may be it, “…filled with shrimp, fish cakes, and mussels (to substitute for the usual cockles in S’pore, perhaps?), and thick udon-like noodles. The coconut curry broth is rich and thick, and they don’t mess around with the spiciness.” J Gold joined on Evan Kleiman on Good Food, and along with those wings, he loves the satay, especially the off menu tripe.

But what about beer and wine? Yes. The Times describes the wine list: “from a charming list that spans an Edna Valley Albarino to Napa Cabernet, with an Erbaluce di Caluso and Becky Wasserman et Fils Pinot Noir in between”. Gourmet Pigs loves the selection of beer, especially the small pours for small prices: “I like how they have 4oz pours of their draft beers for $1.75-2.50. I get to try more and *feel* like I’m drinking less…I had the Orchard White Belgian Witbier from The Bruery ($2) then proceeded to Rugbrod Dark Rye Ale, also from The Bruery (also $2)”.

We started with the Sambal fried potatoes with the traditional Singapore hot chili sauce, tossed with slivers of green onion.

Fried cauliflower with a slightly spicy dipping sauce was a perfect starter.

The pork satay pictured here was perfectly cooked and spiced. The lamb belly was also a favorite of the night.

The Hainanese chicken rice, while not as good as what you can get out in the SGV, was still tender and aromatic, especially when adding the accompanying sauces.

No Hainanese chicken rice dish is complete without the ginger, chili pepper, and sweet soy.

While some would argue that this type of food can be found at other places in the city (at cheaper prices), the owners of the spice table have done well with providing it in a well designed, beautiful space. And much more convenient than a drive to the outskirts of the SGV. It’s apparent that Ng has hit the spot. The service, food, and ambiance make this a new Downtown LA favorite for us.

The Spice Table on Urbanspoon

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Author:Matt Mitchell

A lover of everything LA has to offer, Matt created Dig Lounge to tell his friends about all the fun things to do in the city. Matt has worked in the dot com world since 1996, including some of the top online entertainment companies and digital marketing firms. He currently works as a Digital Producer.

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