As common as it is to call an Angeleno “casual” or “laidback,” he or she will just as frequently rush through a meal or stock up during a shopping trip. To do the latter options at a slower pace – say, to eat a leisurely dinner or to pick up several kitchen items over a few visits – sounds more like a European sense of casual. But at Stir Market, breezy California style meets communal European dining in a place of overall ease. Doors open to a market of artisanal goods, from chocolates and popcorns to condiments and spirits, which have been specially curated by the staff in a colorful display. An oversized bar shaped by variegated tiles stretches from the market into the dining room, where tables of white marble complete a bright, open space.
While breakfast and lunch menus share in the restaurant’s use of fresh, vibrant ingredients, dinner delights in an intimate feast. Order wine or craft beers alongside duck liver pate and charred whole prawns to start, and then pass around the popular Fairfax veg flatbread with quinoa chickpea croquettes. Continue to fill the table as you choose between large salads of fresh herbs, greens, and proteins, or decide on classic grilled items like the Stir Market burger or skirt steak. And to save the best for last, place the porchetta in the midst of it all. Chef Chris Barnett uses wet and dry brine over a four-day period to create this dish, and it’s a layered process akin to the atmosphere. This is where to take life as it comes.