smith1.jpg
Photo courtesy Joshua Huston

"Open the menu and the entire thrust of the place is laid plain: bowls of marinated olives, cheese plates with honeycomb,

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Friday Food Porn: A Look Inside Smith

smith1.jpg
Photo courtesy Joshua Huston

"Open the menu and the entire thrust of the place is laid plain: bowls of marinated olives, cheese plates with honeycomb, cured meat with pickled fennel, a Painted Hills burger, pork belly, sweetbreads, and hanger steak. The proteins are confined to a single expression of chicken, lamb, and a fish of the day. Smith is aiming straight for that rustic sweet spot--a target with a very small bull's-eye for all those reasons mentioned above, but one which is by no means impossible to hit. All it takes is care, thought, an easy hand, and a good eye."

From this week's review of Smith.

smith2.jpg
Photo courtesy Joshua Huston

"The minute I step through Smith's doors, I like the space. It's dark and rough around the edges, sparsely decorated with taxidermied animals and portraits of garage-sale quality, and looks for all the world like a local pub in the English countryside which, through poor investment or maybe the owner's gambling problems, has been forced to sell off half the art and animal heads and some of the fixtures just to keep the lights on. A man dressed in wood paneling could disappear here utterly, and the faux gas lamps at every table sport mismatched shades. On the radio, Robert Plant is tearing his way through "The Battle of Evermore," lending the whole place an air of weird magic, as though you could look through the blank spaces on the walls and almost see back into an uncertain past where a gangly, pimple-faced teenager and his best friend, Jimmy, are standing on a rickety stage, leaning into those first hammer-of-the-gods power chords and shaking their hips around, scaring the locals."

smith3.jpg
Photo courtesy Joshua Huston

"There were big platters of the traditional "Full English Breakfast," which was probably the only time that the kitchen's "just throw it on a plate and get it out the door" style actually worked: mounding together excellent baked beans with a sharp bite of spice, three fried eggs, thick-cut bacon, a slab of ham, and baked tomatoes with black pepper, all topped with a slice of bread fried in bacon grease. Leaving aside the fact that the kitchen never bothered with the sausage promised on the menu...it was otherwise a perfectly serviceable breakfast."

This week's review of Smith was not the friendliest or most heart-warming piece I've ever written, but that English Breakfast was pretty good. Granted, mine looked nothing like the picture above, but still...

You can read the full review of Smith here, and for more lovely pictures of Smith at its careful, conscientious best, check out this week's full Food Porn slideshow over here.

 
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