April Fools' Food: These Are Not Doughnuts

Barton G.'s bread service has a distinctly dessert-y flair.

Ice cream doesn't have to be scooped, nor does toast have to be square, for eaters to like it. The truth is, though, that we rather like the general genres of the foodstuffs we consume to look how we think, generally, from past experience, they're going to look.

A taco should fold, a burger should have buns, a pizza should have toppings on the top, not the bottom, and so forth and onward.

But Barton G., which debuted in June 2014 on La Cienega Boulevard, doesn't go for any of that same-old-same-yawn noise. It's always April Fools' Day, in a way, at the haute-with-a-sense-of-humor hangout.

Pop-tart-y treats filled not with jam but lobster, popcorn shrimp served in an actual old-style popcorn-maker, and a salad served in a mini wheelbarrow alongside gardening implements are just three of the sights -- and sups -- you're bound to see at the swanky, not-too-serious establishment.

Then there's the bread service, which shows up on diners' tables not long after they're seated. But are there proper slices of gently warmed sourdough sitting in a paper-lined basket?

You bet not. The eatery, which goes by the sobriquet "a culinary theatre," appears to have bobbled, on purpose, dinner's first course and its last: The bread service looks very much like dessert. 

Doughnuts, to be specific, frosted and sugary and ready to meet your sweet tooth. But sweet they are not; like more traditional bread services, the Barton G. bread basket features only savory flavors, so those doughnuts are not chocolate and caramel and sugar but basil and black truffle and cheddar & pink peppercorn.

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Will you need to close your eyes on that first bite? It's your choice, given how what we're seeing and what we're tasting can sometimes duke it out, in the brain, over what's what. But that's the fun part of food: A fresh challenge that goes well beyond the staid and the normal. 

What edible will you play with today? Making smiley faces out of a toddler's lunch is something many of us do, but why shouldn't grown-up grub be as strange and as playful?

That goes for April 1 and the other 364 days a year which, truth be told, could use some lightening up, overall, anybody would agree. 

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