On our first trip, Alex and I partook only of the beer. We had just come from seeing a movie across the street at the fine Citynorth establishment, and we were taken in by the intimate, lively feel of the bar. As we sat at the counter, drinking from the tap and discussing the finer points of Battle L.A., plates and plates of delicious-looking food passed by us.
It was the fish and chips that caught Alex’s eye—like a magpie attracted to a bejeweled watch—and I knew we’d be back for dinner.
With dinner, there was more beer: Bitter End for me (my go-to when no Oberon is available), cask Gold Sovereign from the hand-pumped engine for Alex. He was disappointed with the flavor (it was not as bold as he had wanted) and was happy to try a second cranberry-esque option from John, our knowledgeable host who started by saying things like “dry-hopped fuggles” and then explained to our blank faces the basics of how the engine actually works.
While Alex gobbled his battered haddock, I enjoyed a trio of seared scallops, each resting on a bed of minted pea puree, accompanied by spring onions, and topped with prosciutto. For dessert, I tried to split the chocolate almond financier with Alex, but he insisted on ordering another Brit classic, bubble and squeak. Classy guy.
One disappointment: The tiny pool of salted caramel on my dessert plate. I want a ladle of salted caramel, poured over the whole dish. And the dish should be a bowl. And it should be called “salted caramel soup with financier croutons.”
As I said, I really, really like Owen & Engine. Admittedly, though, I’ve been partial to all things “Owen” from an early age. First the dog, then the player, then the books. Because of this fascination, I tried to teach myself the ol’ Cymraeg (that’s Welsh for “Welsh”) with an off-brand Rosetta Stone CD. I can count to ten for you sometime, and tell you my name. Let’s all go have a beer first—it will improve my accent.