Hot Stuff, Ela Gets Three Bells

Craig LaBan praises Jason Cichonski for his artful use of modern cooking gadgets that combine unlikely combinations into graceful dishes at Queen Village’s Ela.

The wink of pure invention was the appeal of the “noodles” he cut from sheets of pureed scallop (an udon-like nod to the Lacroix brunch scallop sausage), the sea-sweet strands blanched and sautéed with salsify into blood-orange vinaigrette. His favorite South Philly Vietnamese snack, meanwhile, the chewy rice flour-ball fritters known as banh cam, get a fascinating modernist update here – stuffed with rosemaried white-bean puree, drizzled with brandied prunes, and dusted with powdered truffle.

And then of course there is the hot chocolate cookie dough dessert inspired by Cichonski’s want for the cookie dough in Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked ice cream to be warm, not cold and hard.

Three Bells – Excellent

Ela [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Ela [Official Site]

Photo by Jason Varney

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Dustin

    This place is fantastic. Laban hit the nail on the head with this review.