image via foodgps.com
Cooks County just opened a few weeks ago on Beverly Blvd in LA. With lovebirds Daniel Mattern and Roxana Jullapat bringing all of their best cards to the table, it looks like owner Claudio Blotta has a real winner on his hands. These two chefs have been working together for years at foodie havens like Ammo, Campanile, and Lucques. Known for using only the freshest local ingredients, Cooks County makes their own cured meats, preserves, condiments and in-house bread.

Mattern comes from Chicago so he knows a thing or two about creating dishes that are civilized yet satisfying. The brunch menu has been out for one week and looks really interesting, but it's only offered on the weekends so I had lunch. I started with a beet salad that came with tangerine slices and red endive and it was exquisite. The beets were as sweet as candy and the red endive and the juicy tangerine brought a beautiful balance to every bite.
For lunch I shared two entrees, the snapper sandwich and the chopped chicken salad. The snapper was so tender it was falling apart even as I looked at it. That morcel of fish was creamy with the flavor of being grilled over an open flame and I swear it swam right up onto that sandwich from a river of my dreams. It came with sprigs of parsley and cabbage on a buttermilk bun so soft I could have cried in it.
The chopped chicken salad was a worthy contender.
The salad was piled high with frizze, arugula, and raddichio, small bites of spiced chicken, sweet and sticky dates, crunchy almonds, and topped with a fine confetti of shaved parmesan. Fresh, filling and just plain scrumdiddlyumptious!

The restaurant is small and welcoming with the vast wine collection in plain view. Have a seat on the rusty old tractor seat bar stools under the wooden ceiling beams and admire the lost art of the old school light bulb, or try something from the extensive beer and wine list as you enjoy the outdoor breeze on the patio.