are you getting tired of me reviewing local 188? surprise surprise! seeing as i work there now, i eat there more often. and while i haven’t felt particularly inclined to bring my camera with me to capture the food i get to eat after shifts, or the staff meals that trent and the crew cooks up for us, but anna dragged me up to local on friday evening for a night out, and needless to say, i was impressed and full upon leaving.
to start off the evening, a and i split the meatballs and the house salad, which per usual satisfied my tastebuds with the necessary goat cheese, arugula, and carrots. the meatballs were savory, and had a nice coating of rich sauce, that helped preserve the tenderness and flavour that was captivated inside of the perfectly sized portions of meat with a generous amount of freshly shaved parmesan on top.
for the entree, i ordered two items off of the tapas/raciones lists. the house-made gnocchi and the maple braised pork belly with pickled mustard seeds and scrambled eggs (what nicolas calls fancy breakfast, and i couldn’t agree more). the gnocchi is a staple of mine, because for some reason, the manner in which local prepares there’s is unlike anything else i’ve ever tasted. they almost resemble little pieces of perfectly fried potatoes soaked in a Serrano chili sauce with spanish almonds. i guess i can truthfully say that i never tire of local’s gnocchi.
rewinding a bit, the braised pork belly with pickle mustard seed really tasted like a decadent breakfast, the maple glaze served the dual purpose of cutting the acidity from the mustard, while acting as a maple syrup atop super fancy bacon. when i saw the hunk of meat before my eyes, i couldn’t help but think “this may be my last night alive,” that’s right, it strongly resembled a heart-attack, but it was so worth it, nonetheless.
desserts at local are made by trent and liz, and i for one, can’t find much more that can rise above these. trent has been working at local for quite a while, since i was at least 8, and i work brunch with him currently. i guess i agree with the statement that baking is a hereditary skill, because some people can, and others cannot. luckily trent can (i too can bake quite well), and that’s why i love local’s desserts so much. usually i settle on one dessert, but this time, a and i went all out, ordering the chocolate coconut bread pudding and tiramisu, which was rich and had a strong taste of rum, but still melted in my mouth. the lady fingers were delicate, and the marscarpone topping was subtle, but added a layer of depth that i can’t give justice to through words.
as it’s difficult for me to describe the tiramisu, it’s even more difficult to describe the chocolate coconut bread pudding. possibly the greatest dessert that’s ever met my palate. those little bite-sized shreds of coconut paired with dark cacao, in the form of a cake that isn’t all through baked, so it melts in your mouth. absolutely a bite of heaven that cannot be replicated in any way, shape, or form.
places like local are the places that inspire me to continue cooking. they’re the ones that started my passion, and they’re the ones that propel me forward. without culinary genius in this town, i’d be without a passion, without a cause, and without a satisfied appetite. i want to thank jay and nicolas for being the masterminds behind local 188s menu, and i also want to thank all other chefs in this town who have impacted my tastebuds for better or for worse.