The essence of glamour walks this earth in the woman form of Jenn Dorn, the pinnacle of generation Jennifer. Her beam sometimes forms a tight, circular glow around me and I stand stockstill, stockstraight, a pillar of posture, ears and eyes and mind stretching to catch her style waves and words.
There are people who make everything into MORE. More of the essence, fundamentally more fabulous, more alive. Genetically. Jenn has it in her genes. The gift of pulling everything into beautiful, sharp, fundamentally glamorous focus.
We have eaten some sandwiches together. I have snapshots in my brain. Hipsto-glamour-matic snapshots. Next time I get to LA, maybe she will pick me up at LAX and take us to a place where sweetbreads proxy for chicken wings. Huh? That’s a leap I can make with a running start. Fly right over the plebian stuff of everyday good enough and soar galore to…huh? really? sweetbreads on a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. Middle of the country, rejoice! You are released from the tyranny of bones/skin/hotsauce. Wings no more. Rejoice!
But at Fundamental LA, a minimalist cavern of a restaurant recently opened in Westwood, a high-minded immersion circulator joins those standard appliances.
So when you order a BLT(E?) ($8), an egg is plucked from the circulator, and its just-set white and yolk join slabs of bacon on the flat-top for a quick fry, yielding frizzled, crisp edges.
Adding such contemporary touches to largely nostalgia-inducing classics is the overriding philosophy at Fundamental. Instead of Kraft Singles and Campbell’s Tomato, the grilled cheese combo ($9) comes with a seasonal soup–silky zucchini on our visit–and the sandwich is filled with burrata and grilled nectarines. Buffalo chicken wings with blue-cheese dressing are the inspiration for another sandwich ($13) that sadly slipped off the menu. In it, poultry was traded for sweetbreads, the fried offal stacked into a soft round of brioche.
Our favorite sandwich, the porchetta (pictured; $9), features a thick slice of pork belly served with mustard and sauerkraut. The kick and tang temper the meat’s richness to delicious effect, but the sandwich would be more at home north of the Alps than in Italy.
Fundamental LA, 1303 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; 310-444-7581 or fundamental-la.com