Eating Game in LA: Literati II

My brother, Brandon Perlow, a computer graphics artist who works in the entertainment industry, lives in LA. Brandon shares the same passion I have for food, except he’s even more of a carnivore than I am. He loves wild game meat, and orders it whenever he has the opportunity. Obviously, living in Los Angeles presents something of a problem for his passion for eating tasty animals, so he usually indulges in game meats when visiting New York. A few weeks ago, however, one of his local favorite restaurants started serving a Fall game menu, and he wanted to tell us all about it.

Literati II
12081 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
(310) 479-3400

I’m a big fan of Game meat, as its not very prevalent in Los Angeles — most LA’ers find it Politically Incorrect to eat Rabbit or Venison. So I was very surprised when Literati II on Bundy and Wilshire was having a fall special menu this past weekend.

Literati II is the sister restaurant to the local favorite, Literati Cafe. Literati II shares the building with Literati Cafe, but it has a separate entrance. Literati II has been getting much critical acclaim from the local papers, and it is not undeserved.

I frequent the Cafe as they serve dinner until 1am most nights, and the food is fairly healthy and not too expensive. Recently I made a stop at the Literati II as I feel they have the best deserts in the West Side. As I was eating desert there I noticed the fall menu and decided to make a reservation for the next day.

My friend Justin Lloyd from Digital Domain was interested in joining me on the culinary adventure. Justin decided to order the Prix Fixe meal which had the Roasted Quail as the main entree. His starters included an Apple and Mango salad with Walnuts, Pumpkin Soup , and Lobster Salad with Pomegranates. I was a little more daring and ordered the Lapin Stew and the Seared Venison a la carte.


Pumpkin Soup

Mango Salad With Pomegranate Seeds

The apple and mango salad was good for preparing the palate for the upcoming courses. Justin enjoyed his pumpkin soup first. I tried some of his Lobster Salad and it was exquisite. It wasn’t overly sauced , and the pomegranates worked well with the lobster pieces.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more of Literati’s wild game menu.

Lapin Stew

Then the Lapin Stew arrived. It was the Leg of the Rabbit with sausage, prosciutto, potatoes, onions and smaller pieces of the rabbit in a fennel sauce. The rabbit was tender and succulent. It wasn’t very gamy and still had the distinct flavor. The prosciutto and sausage was 1st rate and a great accompaniment to the rabbit leg. I would venture to say this is the best Rabbit dish since I ate in Ghent, Belgium a few years ago. This is even better prepared than the rabbit dish made at Sor Tino down the road on Barrington.



Roasted Quail



Seared Venison

Justin’s Quail came next as did my Venison. The Venison was beautiful to look at as I almost regret eating it. The Venison was seared and had some greens that reminded me of a middle eastern dish I have had. There were some pieces of fried dough as well. This has been some of the best Venison I have ever had. The last time I had venison was at the La Cachette restaurant in Westwood. La Cachette’s venison was more gamy. Theirs had a liver-like taste to it. I was shocked with Literati’s venison. It had none of that. This venison tasted like pure red-meat. It was different from beef, it had a stronger taste and slight gamy-ness, but it was divine. This dish re-affirmed my joy at being at the top of the food chain. Literati’s version of venison will be my standard for years to come.

I tried a little of the quail, and found it to be stunning as well. It was very juicy and there wasnt too much fussiness with the sauce. The meat was cooked and seasoned to perfection. For those not as adventurous, or those who can’t eat rabbit or deer, this dish is for you.



Pine Nut Tart


Apple Cobbler with Creme Fraische Sorbet


Dessert came with Justin’s meal. He had the included pine-nut tart. I would say this was as good or better than most French ones I have had. The dessert chef here is incredible as well. She has a very delicate touch with her creations, not too sweet, and a perfect balance of flavors and texture. I ordered the Apple Cobbler with Creme Fraische sorbet. The bowl was quite large and hot. The cobbler itself was hard and crunchy and worked well with the soft fresh apples underneath. The sorbet worked great as it had a slight cheese taste that contrasted and worked well with the apple filling inside.

Literati II has raised their bar with the fall menu for this weekend. I hope other people find the game dishes to be fantastic, as I would like to see them included in the daily menu.

I recommend going to Literati II every once in a while, especially when they have special menus. If you’re not in a mood for a full meal there, I would say just stop in for dessert and see what’s available. I have never had a bad experience yet. If possible try the Mayer Lemon Tart (if it’s on the menu) as that’s their signature dessert dish IMHO.

reported by Brandon Perlow

4 Responses to Eating Game in LA: Literati II

  1. […] As a bonus, if you are keeping an eye on Digesty New York, you would have seen this guest post about Literati II. […]

  2. Brigitte says:

    I don’t know when you went last but there have been new additions to the menu and the patio has been re-done. Plus Monday Night Madness is As You Like It Hamburger night. You should check it out!

  3. Lynda says:

    I used to live in northern California, so had venison almost every year…but when a buck in young, and not in season, the meat is really quite mild. If you like the stronger flavor, you might want to try goat…when young, it’s like mild lamb or mild venison, when older, it’s definitely the stronger flavor.. the backstrap (as it was called) or what is the source of the filet from a young goat was thought by friends to be venison…there’s a dish in LA (birria I think it’s called) which is made with goat…you might have your brother check it out.
    Venison is imported from New Zealand, there’s a company called Broadleaf that brings it in, but I don’t know where it’s sold..probably primarily to restaurants.
    One year some friends got a big buck out of season, did a horrible job of butchering it, and when I asked for the bones to make soup stock, I ended up with 10 quarts of canned meat and stock–made fantastic chili…flavor of the meat held up against strong/hot chile flavors..(ah, the things you miss in the city…for me what I miss most is fresh caught trout…yum)

  4. Venison rib”s can be cooked many diferent ways first you must clean all the tallow off them. Marinate them over night then puy them on the smoker. Or you can roast them in the oven, make up some dressing (stouphing) and place a layer between several racks of rib”s place the rest right on top of them and let it cook.

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