The butternut squash with dukkah from Moruno at the Original Farmers Market.(Michelle Park)
Moruno at the Original Farmers Market.(Michelle Park)
Gildas, cocktail skewers of roasted garlic, anchovy and peppers, from Moruno.(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)
Marinated anchovies from Moruno at the Original Farmers Market .(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)
Rotisserie pork shoulder from Moruno.(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)
Lamb morunos from Moruno at the Original Farmers Market .(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)
The lamb sub moruno from Moruno, which occupies the former Short Order space.(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)
At Moruno, the 2-week-old Spanish restaurant at the Original Farmers Market, the marinated anchovies come with Rudolphe Le Meunier’s Beurre de Baratte, the roasted butternut squash is topped with dukkah, and the bread is flown in from Navarra, Spain. This should give you a little insight into how things are done here.
Moruno is a project from chef Chris Feldmeier and managing partner David Rosoff, who worked together at both Mozza and Campanile. The pair also plan on opening Bar Moruno at Grand Central Market in the spring.
The kitchen for the restaurant, which occupies the former Short Order space, is noticeably bigger than the dining room, outfitted with an area for cooking meat skewers over live coals.
At Moruno, the focus is on morunos, otherwise known as Spanish snacks. Feldmeier serves two types of morunos, including skewered squares of lamb leg marinated with turmeric and chicken thighs in garlic and cilantro. Other small bites include the gildas (cocktail skewers of roasted garlic, anchovy and peppers) and the tortilla espanola (Spanish omelette).
The morunos also come as “sub morunos,” made with baguettes from Berlys bakery in Navarra, in northern Spain. The bread is slathered with a horseradish baba ganoush and topped with slivers of red onion, pepperoncini, mint and slices of lamb leg. Or you can get the chicken sandwich, made with sliced chicken thighs, red onion, mint, serrano chile and lime.
There are more substantial dishes too, including the rotisserie pork shoulder, served over braised escarole. The pork is sliced into half-inch-thick pieces, with a semi-sweet crust that will remind you of holiday ham, only much, much better.
And there are plenty of roasted vegetables (the roasted vegetable renaissance is still happening), including the aforementioned butternut squash, scored and roasted until tender and crisp around the edges, topped with sweet dukkah, the Egyptian condiment made with sesame seeds, hazelnuts and cumin.
Dave Kupchinsky’s cocktail menu is small and purposeful, with a “gin tonic” mixed with housemade tonic, a take on the Moscow Mule made with rye and a Cobbler with Palo Cortado sherry, Amaro Montenegro, grapefruit, strawberry and plenty of crushed ice. The small bar upstairs, Bar Vermut, is scheduled to open soon.
Oh, and the restaurant has its own proprietary vermouth called Vermina. Because why not.
Moruno is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
6333 W. 3rd St. Los Angeles, (323) 372-1251, www.morunola.com.
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