Jessica recently sat down with James Beard-nominated Chef Casey Lane of West Hollywood's Viale Dei Romani restaurant at La Peer Hotel.
Lane has lived in West Hollywood for more than eight years and was excited to bring his his Italian cooking with broader Southern French and North African influences to the neighborhood. He said the flavorful and soulful dishes often surprise diners because they don't expect the explosion of flavors.
Lane made branzino and Jessica also got to enjoy the restaurant's famous "100-layer" lasagna, and rabbit sausage-and-fennel pizza.
Fore more information about Lane's restaurants, visit:
Here's Lane's recipe for two 6-ounce branzino fillets:
For the sauce:
- pea tendrils
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup limoncello
- 1 tablespoon calamansi vinegar (or substitute champagne vinegar)
- 1 cup fruity olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the garnish:
- 1 fennel bulb cut into eighths
- 1/2 cup Marcona almonds, cut in half
- 1 pinch fennel pollen
- Fire up a grill and allow it to get very hot.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, limoncello and vinegar. Add salt and slowly whisk in the olive oil until the sauce is emulsified. Add more oil if the sauce seems too acidic – lemons can vary.
- In a pan over medium heat, add olive oil and slowly caramelize the fennel wedges on both sides, remove from pan.
- Sauté the pea tendrils in a hot pan with a thin film of olive oil. Add a pinch of salt as you cook them, once softened, remove from pan and set on absorbent paper.
- Season the branzino evenly with a thin film of oil and salt on both sides.
- Over a hot section of your grill, lay the fillets skin side down, and watch as the skin crisps, about five minutes. (If the skin start to bubble or blacken before crispy the grill is too hot). Flip the branzino and finish cooking for another minute.
- Mix the almonds and caramelized fennel into the sauce. Set the pea tendrils on a plate, spoon a teaspoon of sauce over them. Place the branzino on top and spoon more sauce around the edge of the plate.
Recipe courtesy of Casey Lane
This segment aired on KTLA's California Cooking: Episode 21.