Every city has its iconic dishes — meals that exemplify its unique spirit and distinct character. These dishes are great in and of themselves but that doesn’t mean your dining experience can’t be enhanced with a side treat.
We’re launching a new feature called Monday Munchies, wherein we sample a quintessential dish and try to figure out which cannabis product will best complement it. This week writer Justin Caffier visits Los Angeles’ Sqirl, a tiny cafe nestled in the ever-changing neighborhood of East Hollywood.
With a perpetual line out the door and around the block, Sqirl — chef Jessica Koslow’s cozy café — has become an all-day brunching institution since she upgraded her preserves company to a full-fledged dining establishment. Without a doubt, Sqirl’s signature dish is the ricotta toast, an impossibly fluffy slab of crispy brioche slathered with a generous shmear of ricotta cheese, topped with a pool of house-made jam in the center. The instantly recognizable breakfast once overwhelmed the Instagram timeline of every person in Los Angeles, but it’s now exceeded the status of food trends and become standard local fare for Angelenos and tourists alike.
On a recent sunny winter afternoon, I visited Sqirl to dig into the dish. I’ve enjoyed the toast before, but this time I was coming to the table having just taken an edible, ready to explore this dining experience while stoned.
Hoping to complement the strawberry jam toast I’d be ordering, I preemptively popped one of Camino’s Wild Berry gummies by Kiva Confections. I must have timed things perfectly, because my taste buds were primed. My mood was pleasant and vibey by the time I made it through the line, took my seat, and my order was served.
As predicted, the edible was acting like a taste Game Genie, unlocking the secret essence of each individual ingredient. The tanginess of the strawberries, the richness of the ricotta, and the satisfying chewiness of the bread were on full display thanks to my hack. I almost convinced myself I was able to unlock the details of each ingredient that harkened all the way back to the farms they were grown at.
While I’m fairly certain my palate is not quite that attuned, my agricultural inclination was validated when I reached out to chef Koslow for her take on this little experiment and which cannabis pairing she’d have gone with. She also went the gummy route, opting for Pure Beauty’s Autumn Flame Peach Nantou Dark Oolong Delights.
“Sqirl’s all about seasonality,” a representative for Koslow told me. “We use Frog Hollow [Farm] and we love companies (these are our friends) that work directly with farmers and use seasonal ingredients, so we’d definitely pair our ricotta toast with these Rose Delights edibles.”
Whether you try this dish out for yourself stone sober or with some sativa supplements it your call. But no matter which way you enjoy it, you’re guaranteed to leave with a satisfied stomach. And, if we’re being real, also some jam stickiness somewhere on your hand that you’ll discover hours later.