Dining out in the time of Covid is…a weird experience. I’m happy to be able to eat on patios (and the occasional inside) again, but it constantly feels like a weird ghost town. But on the bright side, parking has been remarkably easy pretty much everywhere!
ABC Pony has been on the list and I’m frankly embarrassed that it took us so long to make it here. For most of the time, we were the only guests inside the place. There were more staff than customers. So if you want to feel like royalty…go to ABC Pony, I guess?
When my husband asked what type of food it was, I told it was “Asian-Italian fusion.” Unable to picture what this meant (aside from pasta), we leapt in head-first. To start: cocktails. I had the My Ruby Pony, which was super perfumey and citrusy and just refreshing. My husband, out of curiosity, ordered the gochujang margarita. It was surprisingly balanced but maintained the smokey heat (and color) of gochujang.
We opted for an array of small dishes and started with the caesar salad, last-minute “I need a vegetable” decision I made unilaterally. But this ain’t your mom’s caesar salad:
Is…is it possible to marry a salad? Only by the virtue of the housemade dressing was this a caesar salad–juicy apples and bitter shards of celery with long cheese shavings and hazelnuts puts this thing squarely in my Top 5 Salads of All Time. I know it’s crazy to feel this way about a salad but…just try this salad.
Next up: the lumpia. If you’re wondering how to make Asian-Italian fusion, here’s your answer: take meatballs, jam them inside an egg wrapper. Dip in marinara. Done. Again, not traditional lumpia, and that’s why it’s special.
Third was the carrot agnolotti. This was my least favorite of the night, which doesn’t say as much about the pasta as it does about all the other things we got. The sauce was super light and fresh tasting, with a smidge of sesame oil.
To finish off, the tea-glazed pork belly. I normally find that pork belly can be cloyingly, hauntingly fatty, but this was just perfectly melty and crispy, in a sauce that was BBQ-sweet but also unplaceable. Plus that mountain of baked beans underneath.
Thanks to QR Code ordering, when we finished, we just got up and left, all anticlimactically. These are strange times.
Price: $50 per person.
Bottom line: I miss the actual restaurant experience but at least the food at ABC Pony is phenomenal enough to almost make up for it. Also, just wtf magic is even in that salad? We’ll be back ASAP.