Oh sweet sweet Baldwin Hills, how you’ve searched and yearned for newness, modernity…dare I say Good Eats. Well, the wait is over. As I will not be the first to say, the freshly opened Post & Beam more than fits the bill. A welcome addition to the otherwise ho hum community. Post & Beam brings a fresh, modern twist to the gastronomic community, a gastropub, oozing with some serious swagger thanks to a couple big hitters on the scene, Govind Armstrong and Brad Johnson. These guys know what’s up. They know what people want, and they deliver. Stylish, smart, and utterly delectable, Post and Beam is basically the place you want to call your neighborhood joint. Small-ish [in a good cozy, I wanna-snuggle-some-swanky-sexy-guy kind of way] exposed kitchen, massive flaming wood burning oven, some spunky servers bouncing around, and a pretty awesome unpretentious clientele. When I arrived with my friend, I was beyond frazzled, erratic and in much need of a libation. Despite my eccentricity, the warm host seated us, and jovially (if not slightly sarcastically) offered me a drink to calm my nerves [I like this girl already]. My friend and I started with some beers. Local, of course, thanks to the limited yet well tailored drink menu. Hefe for her, IPA for me.
Our server was delightfully cute in his overambitious, meticulous description of the menu, which truth be told, I appreciate, and give him props for. After all, how could he know that I know my salsa verde’s from my gremolatas, or that a supreme tallegio is a far cry from a fontina.
Okay, the food: Now, before you judge me, I know I only tried four dishes #fail. Trust me, I originally intended on four guests, therefore increasing my total Govind inventions significantly, so yeah, my bad, but what I did eat was phenomenal.
We had the charred broccolini, the meatball pizza, grilled octopus, and buttermilk panna cotta.
And I already have my list of items I’m ordering next week, when I inevitably go back. The pizza was perfectly charred on the bottom, kissed with a sweet tomato sauce (arguably the best Ive ever had #suckitmozza) and topped with a myriad of cheeses and chunks of soft sweet turkey meatballs, and dusted with fennel pollen. To my surprise, the fennel flavor was bold and noticeable. Not in a bad smack-you-over-the-head-way, but in a bright, wow-that’s-unexpectedly-delicious way. The broccolini was charred within an inch of its life (again, not at all a bad thing), yet still retained a slight crunch, and flavored with a hint of garlic, and alleged chili. Delicious in its own right, however I feel could still use a bit more spicy ass chili kick. The octopus is what really excited me. This octopus was super tender, a delicious charred caramelized exterior, and soft succulent center. Accented by bright preserved lemon shards, fresh parsley leaves, and chickpeas, prepared two ways. A little olive oil perhaps, and I’m sure a dozen other delicious ingredients. It was the perfect dish. The menu is super smart. The ambiance is soft, yet modern, and cozy, but contemporary. At the end of our meal, the front of house manager treated us to the buttermilk panna cotta, which was both unexpected and incredibly kind. Let me tell you friends, it was unbelievable. I was totally trying to be ‘good’ and skip the dessert, in favor of a particularly snug pair of J Brands, that are sitting in my closet, staring me down… I digress… However, this little plate of sweet, slightly tart, orange-y, vanilla-y lusciousness was worth the extra couple miles on the treadmill tomorrow. A perfect panna cotta, topped with candied orange peel. Jay Rayner once said that “…a properly set panna cotta should move like a woman’s breasts…” Well, not that I’m an expert, but I think this buttermilk, orange version pretty much perfected it.
On my ‘to-try’ list next time? mussels, sticky ribs, mushroom and nettles pizza, cauliflower with salsa verde, and short-ribs…. Dare I ask… Will there ever be a reincarnation of the undisputed short rib grilled cheese? Hey, a girl’s gotta ask.
Go. Eat. Enjoy.