Testa: A Tasty Twist
Imagine possessing the freedom to redesign an entire menu - a blank canvas, so to speak. Now imagine that kind of power landing on a talented, young chef at the peak of his career. This is the story of Testa.
Chef Sydney Hunter III, previously a chef at Silverlake’s Kettle Black and Sawyer, now heads the South Park restaurant. Chef Sydney is given full autonomy of the food that Testa serves. The result is a mish-mash of primarily modern American/Italian cuisine with Japanese and Mexican influences. Dining at Testa is like being inside Chef Sydney’s head, except instead of being surrounded by brain cells of a creative culinary genius (sorry for the mental image), you are in an oasis at the heart of one of the fastest growing metropolitan cities in the world.
All the dishes in Testa share a common theme - they all have a surprise twist to them. A pasta is not simply a pasta. This decadent uni pasta is traditional only in its al-dente texture. The surprise twist? A large dollop of uni perched on top of the pasta.
The crispy polenta is Chef Sydney’s take on Mexican Corn (elotes). The dish is perfectly executed with the polenta crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The smoky fragrance of the cotija cheese perfectly complements the tangy, spicy taste of the aioli. It is not quite the conventional elote that is etched in all of our fond childhood memories. What you have instead is a beautifully plated work of art that reminds you of it in taste.
It is clear that the Chef knows and loves his seafood. The prawn dish is another one worthy of mention. Bathed in a sauce reminiscent of Asian flavors, the prawns are fresh and pristinely cooked. Testa offers some meat options for the non-seafood eaters. Some classics include roasted chicken, a steak and pork chop. Some very typical meat dishes that are far from typical in preparation.
We must not forget that there are two key ingredients in the making of the perfect dinner restaurant. Sure there is the food, but the drinks are just as important. That’s where Devin Espinosa is brought into the mix. To those living under a rock, Devin is the mixologist who created the delicious (and very Instagram-worthy) cocktails at The Church Key.
Happy hour that takes place from 5pm-7pm daily encompasses the very best of Testa in tapas style for the person who likes trying a little bit of everything. Testa aims to become South Park’s go-to community restaurant. Treat yourself to some of the best cocktails, indulge in some delicious food, close your eyes and immerse in the contagious energy of the city.
Written by Amanda Gunawan | Photography by Amanda Gunawan