Lovely Romanian Home Cooking at This Tiny Highland Park Cafe
"I especially loved the pilaf — it had that perfect grain salad balance of being hearty enough to fill you up while also containing no filler and avoiding heaviness. I had it over the "red red braise," a stew made of beef braised with red wine and tomatoes. Both the stews reminded me of eating at the home of a pragmatic friend who's also a great cook in a low-key kind of way. "
Try Romanian food (maybe for the first time) at Parsnip in Highland Park
"New restaurant Parsnip in Highland Park is one of the few Romanian restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area. So unless you have intimate knowledge of Romanian culture, you may not have tried the food. At the risk of sounding uncultured, Rosalie Atkinson went to eat her first Romanian meal and chat with Chef Anca Caliman about her new spot's inspiration."
Parsnip Brings Romanian Home Cooking Made With Love and Packed with Flavor
"...The overall vibe is intimate and easygoing, like a European café or a friend’s kitchen, with Romanian music and the smells and sounds of the kitchen providing a lovely ambiance. It feels like the ideal spot for a long and lowkey dinner with good friends and good conversation. While Parsnip is small in size, the well-curated menu is mighty, serving up Romanian comfort food that packs a punch both in portion size and in flavor.
Parsnip: Bringing Romanian Food to Highland Park
"When you think of Los Angeles cuisine, what kinds of food come to mind? Mexican? Korean? How about Romanian? While SoCal is undeniably a hotbed of ethnic dishes and surprising fusions, it is surprisingly lacking in Eastern European cuisine.
Anca Caliman saw a gap in the marketplace, but that wasn’t the real reason she opened Parsnip, a new cafe in Highland Park. “I think it’s part of me growing up and growing old and thinking more about personal identity and family.” For Caliman, cooking Romanian food is a kind of homecoming."
Romanian Cuisine Is Front And Center At Highland Park's Parsnip
"...And much like Parsnip's space itself, the menu is tight but well-curated.
For starters, order the vinete—an eggplant dip with a smokey, complex flavor and a delicious zest. The dip comes with the same flatbread used for the plachintas, and, as the day progresses, "the flatbreads get funkier, more sourdough-y," Caliman explains. A delicious transformation sampled during our visit.
Off the dumplings section of the menu, the bulz are recommended. The exterior has a chunky polenta texture, while the filling is a fresh mix of red peppers, sauerkraut, pico verde, and cheese (depending on whether you order them vegan or not).
The feta and dill plachinta may be one of the most remarkable highlights on the menu: perfectly salty, and balanced by both the dill and the flatbread's own doughy flavors."