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Review ~ Majordomo LA (2022)

{Be aware this is a fuller, detailed version of the Yelp review of the same - with limitations in characters and links, this blog has more detail and links to related information.}

Sitting off the Los Angeles River, where Naud Street ends, sits a series of non-descript buildings, huddled and gated off. Strings of lights flow over the small courtyard. The location feels like the extremity of LA’s Chinatown - definitely close enough to know you’re there. (As is the trend, you’ll wind past equally nondescript buildings with all manner of night-life.)

LOCATION 1725 Naud St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Majordomo is built with the original structure intact - having listened to David Chang’s nascent podcast series four years (!) ago, he put in the time and thoughtfulness to ensure that he had the spot that suited its vibe, its eventual choices of taste. You definitely feel that thoughtful execution in the course of your visit.

PARKING 1769 Naud St (North of Majordomo)

Parking was more straightforward than we realized - it’s literally across the street (if Majordomo is on your left while facing the LA River, the parking is only feet forward and to the right). They are right - there is occasional shooting (when we visited, it was Snowfall production that seemed to have the most signage) in the area - so be aware of that and at least arrive with sufficient time to ensure a spot. [If not, we believe you may swing some street parking, but be warned and aware of where and how you park.]

Now their site calls it a valet lot, but we paid a fee and were waved in by two attendants. Made sure to park whilst not blocking myself in.

Reservations feel mandatory, I would recommend them as not to waste your time for the trip. We try always for indoor seating, as Majordomo has an option for a pseudo patio area and an indoor space. With the LA weather shifting, nights are not warm in the Fall, so we opt for indoor - considering the utilitarian nature of the building, being inside was just right.

We sat in a little corner next to the wine storage and a perfect view of all three dining areas - to people-watch.

For context on our mood that night, we ordered the following - having done our research before:

BING = Egg & Caviar, Naan Bread

MARKET & SNACKS = Roasted Pumpkin (Seasonal)

NOODLES & RICE = Mushroom Crispy Rice

MEAT & FISH = Boiled Whole Chicken - two parts, served over rice, served as soup

On our BING - soft cooked eggs and caviar sounded divine - savory and rich. And they delivered. On the ‘Bing’ portion of the menu, naan is served along with the requested side. The naan was soft and perfectly suited to sop up yolk and caviar.

The Roasted Pumpkin piqued our interest because it was seasonal. It surprised us and made a bit of a highlight for that night’s meal. The menu lists it simply as pumpkin, cabbage, pecan and brown butter - all true. But there were some very savory aromatics and dried spices that made it very memorable. I hadn’t had the time to figure them out, but I can still taste it in my mind. It was reminiscent of a recipe I made a few years back for Bon Appetit’s Hasselbeck Squash - gourds, pepper, sweet, aromatic. If I were to guess - the brown butter adds much, pepper, sage and apple cider vinegar? It tasted even better the next day, as the flavors matured.

The next surprise was the Mushroom Crispy Rice. As we are Asian, we do have penchant for rice dishes. This one was quite excellent in preparation, flavors and execution. I’m sure Majordomo would attest that crunchy rice is a deep cut for Asian palettes, burnt rice offers a fulfilling finish to certain dishes, I find, particularly dinner. This is apparently much like a buseot sot-bap rice - a single mushroom and rice pot. Majordomo delivers on this promise, with a dish full of earthy flavors, rich broth and tremendous textures. And, as the Pumpkin - tasted even more delectable the next day. (Warm it up and add a soft boiled egg atop it.)

We were warned that the Boiled Whole Chicken would not be finished in a sitting. It is served as two portions. The first is served atop a delicious white rice, one strip with crunchy garlic chili and other with scallions. The next portion is served as soup.

At first, again too dependent on my Asian tongue, the chicken’s simplicity may incite some questioning. But, as you appreciate it, as I learned over a few bites, that it is the perfection of how the chicken is prepared and tenderly cooked. I’ve rarely seen chicken so perfectly tender and right at perfection’s peak. The soup - the same. Deceivingly simple, but full of chicken goodness.


Kimino Ume Soda

Peach - a bold pre-dinner (non-alcoholic) drink, reminiscent of a kombucha with fruit

Rosita - a bold reposado with Campari and bitters - you will taste this one

Pimm’s Cup - KCET pronounces it should be ‘LA’s’ cocktail, this gin, vermouth, Grand Marnier and cherry liquor is refreshing


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