Here fishy fishy fishy!
Here fishy fishy fishy!
Dustin Ames

No. 86, Smoked Trout at Provenance

Behold the beginning of our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

Provenance's house-smoked trout, which was recently transferred from the entrées to the appetizer list, is meant to be shared and eaten as though a dip with toast. What's most admirable about the dish isn't that the whole fish is splayed open, frosted with a lemon cream, and decorated as though it were cake with hearts of palm ribbons, roasted tomatoes, capers and artichokes, but that it comes with the head still attached--a startling presentation when you see it outside of a Chinese restaurant.

But just as with the on-site vegetable and herb garden that Pavlos has added outside in the patio, what better way is there to convince you her food is fresh, fresh, fresh?

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You navigate your fork around bones, extricating the flesh and then marveling at the sumptuous, subtly smokiness of it all. But most of all, you realize that it's been forever since you ate something that reminded you so much of your last camping trip. Even if you never managed to snag a fish after hours of standing by the river, eating this you can imagine that you have. Perhaps this would be how it would taste if you actually figured out how to light that campfire by rubbing two sticks together.

The List:

87. Small Plates at A&J Restaurant 88. Corn Cheese at Zoomak Asian Bistro 89. Pumpkin Curry at Bhan Baitong 90. Poke at Costco Tustin II 91. Pambazo at Tacos Radioactivos 92. Beef Pho at Pho Crystal Noodle House 93. Breakfast Burrito from Cafe Calacas 94. Koobideh Plate from Grill Cafe 95. Tacos de Cecina from Alebrije's 97. Breakfast Sausage from Da-Le Ranch 99. Tres Amigos Burrito from Piaggio on Wheels 100. Bacon-Wrapped Dates from Lola Gaspar

Email: Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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