—by Dr. Laura Wilhelm, LauraWil Intercultural
Eagle Rock, CA (The Hollywood Times) 7/9/17 – Mike Riboli, a fourth generation family member of San Antonio Winery and Restaurant, has struck out on his own with an Eagle Rock eatery called Turningfire Modern Rotisserie located at 2146 Colorado Boulevard. Turningfire is a rotisserie kitchen specializing in healthy, seasonal menus using locally sourced ingredients and all natural meats. It is committed to creating 100% original menus inspired by cultural specialties found throughout the world.
The succulent Turningfire rotisserie menu comprises six chicken, pork, steak, and salmon items treated with specially crafted spice rubs that can be plated, wrapped, rolled, or put in bowls or on salads along with market sides such as Rotisserie Potatoes, Roasted White Yams, Chilled Minted Carrots, Fennel Kale Slaw, and Farro & Veggies that stand alone as minor culinary masterpieces.
The minted carrots with goat cheese and pistachio ($5.25) and farro & veggie salad with cilantro vinaigrette ($5.25) magically appeared on the table unbidden when this reporter and her husband ordered the Roman Spiced Pork ($13.25) and Cali Gold ($13.00) wraps during their recent visit to Turningfire Modern Rotisserie on the evening of Friday, July 7th. All new Happy Hour orders of Shroom Flatbread ($11.50) and LA Street Fries ($10.00) rounded out a substantial repast that allowed them to experience and appreciate the depth and complexity of Turningfire’s exquisite menu offerings.
The Roman Spiced Pork wrap is prepared with arugula, tomato garlic confit, honey-herb gremolata, pickled Italian fennel, and peppercorn aioli. The Cali Gold Wrap features free range French Lavender chicken, mesclun, orange shallot vinaigrette, avocado spread, golden beets, spring onion compote, fresh tomato, and lemon aioli. The large sandwiches were accompanied by equally large green salads and half of each had to be taken home!
As delicious as both meaty sandwiches were, the standout items may well have been the vegetarian Happy Hour offerings. The Shroom Flatbread was lavishly topped with pan-seared wild mushrooms, slow-braised tomatoes, goat cheese, ricotta spread, basil, and garlic oil. The LA Street Fries were artfully festooned with grilled chile corn, pickled red onion, cotija cheese crumble, grilled scallions, and cilantro lime crème. Both happy eaters have their eyes on the Turningfire pork and beef meatballs in tomato sauce ($8.00) for next time.
As can be seen, these are not big city prices or portions! Wine is sold by the glass and bottle with beer also available on tap. The house Sangria, a real steal at $6.00 per glass, comes highly recommended! Non-alcoholic drinks, soups, and desserts are also available at this minimalist eatery with a deceptively elaborate menu.
Mike Riboli was kind enough to chat about his philosophy of eclectic cuisine as inspired by old THT friends James Beard (“Food is our common ground, a universal experience”) and Julia Child (“I think careful cooking is love”). His own gourmet palate is well tuned to the subtle delights of Turningfire.
Turningfire is open on Sundays from 11:30am – 9pm, Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30am – 10pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11:30am – 11pm. It is closed on Mondays.