In a location that once housed Beechwood in Venice, the legendary Roy Choi has taken on the cuisine of the Caribbean and given it the name Sunny Spot. You may remember Choi as the man behind Kogi and West Side delights Chego and A-Frame. When I first learned about Sunny Spot, I marked it down for a bike brunch visit and just happened to make my way there this past weekend. I had heard the Yucca Fried were something special, but what I found went way beyond what I had imagined.
We began with their Savory Festival Bread, which came with goat’s milk butter, guava jam and rum honey for dipping. This was unlike any traditional bread, as it had been fried without taking on the heaviness that fried bread usually does. Also, it was made of corn. Despite being called savory, it had a light coat of powdered sugar to balance out the saltiness and that was certainly welcome. While I am usually a lover of guava, the goat butter was my favorite of the dipping sauces.
A struggled a bit with what to order for my main course, but ultimately opted for the “What a Jerk Wings.” The menu described them as double coated and double fried without much other detail, so I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into. What I received far exceeded my expectations with five massive chicken wings. Full wings, with the drummies and all. These double fried jerks had an awesome crispiness and a jerk flavor distinctly different from any Jamaican I’ve ever had, but still quite tasty. They came on top of a spicy sauce that I can only try to describe as garlicky, dijon-y and damn spicy. But the mere fact that I was able to make out the other flavors told me that it wasn’t too spicy. These were winners on all accounts.
Finally, there were the Yucca Fries – my reason for heading to Sunny Spot in the first place. They were certainly well-made, but tasted pretty similar to any other yucca fries I’d ever eaten. The kicker, though, was their fantastic banana Thai basil ketchup. It’s quite a mouthful for a condiment, but every word of that is necessary to describe such a delicious dipping sauce. I even spotted the fiancee plundering bits of the sauce to eat with the wings.
So, Roy Choi has done it once again. With a distinct Caribbean flair, none of these dishes tasted like copycats and all had their own unique twists. In my four and a half years of living in LA, Choi has not only revolutionized the overall food scene with trucks, but has turned the West Side into a culinary destination spotted with amazing food. I used to read about food being “good for the West Side,” but the West Side is now a greater restaurant resource than much of the rest of LA and that is in no small part thanks to the continuing success of Roy Choi.