EVA - a lighthouse of tasty stitched in yellow fiber
YEARS AGO, before the salty city was teeming with the #dillicious opportunities it does today, a yellow sunshade made a debut at 317 on main. pioneering our culinary scene whilst encouraging visionaries both new and old to keep dreaming! this spot became a lighthouse of tasty stitched in yellow fibers. brighter then, than those threads are today, i fondly recall twirling beneath the canary cloth, thinking this is the ‘new’ way of doing a restaurant.
while the experiences offered have grown ever more dazzling, countless sunsets have faded the yellow threads to a softer hue. this weathered exterior whispers with a wisdom only time can provide. more than seal of approval or sales pitch, these whispers do not solicit your entry or rumor of how grand each experience might be. imagine instead; soft words from your grandmother who with a wink whispers only “come try this” after pulling her legendary cinnamon rolls from the oven. that level of #dillicious is what you can expect any time you parade thru the door beneath the yellow canopy at eva.
in near jarring contrast to the bright yellow and minimal glass facade you enter a storybook calm tiny entry. separated by a thin vintage dressing partition the energy of whatever lies beyond vibrates at a murmured roar. visitors are transported to a post-apocalyptic restaurant of a tomorrow where people of any occasion sit communally amongst glamorously repurposed decor. a matte finish wall dressed in vintage plates -which i suspect to be enchanted by eva coombs herself- [eponymous great grandmother of charlie perry; owner, creative, and chef-for whom the eatery is named] -yank desperately at your sultry stings. each thoughtfully selected adornment furnishes the space with more than that which you merely see. the subtleties in design and the ever different crowd harness an unexpected focus on the cuisine one rarely stumbles across stateside. much like the wall-hung plates, each guest contributes to the overall decoration of the space. it is as if every night, every guest has arrived to take part in a larger installation; a narrative more about the collective experience than even the food alone.
it’s difficult to explain how all the flavour bearings in some of the dishes at eva form a clear trajectory, and yet like ships to a port they do. once upon a visit to my yellow lighthouse i reveled in a fried chicken served over a miso mash. by itself this miso seemed a warship barbarically poised for attack and yet when a supremely crunchy fleet of togorashi come to batter this dish the flavors somehow, inexplicably rescue one another from what could have been a bland finale. bites rich with all the intended flavours feel as tho a sailors fish and chip festival has broken out on your tongue. tastes of miso shift in favor of the perfect umami savour and compliment this battered alchemy too well. intriguing textures transcend beloved “salty crunchy” before giving way to protein so simple but supple you may want to confirm its chicken.
tho surely i would be flattered, please, don’t waste your time trying to attain a dish dillicious loved. i certainly would not, could not guarantee the menu will proffer the same treats during your visit. artistic spectacles like the creations to be enjoyed at eva simply don’t hang in a gallery after their exhibition. there is a magic in something beautiful yet fleeting: get it while you can, and share whatever that is, for soon it will be too late. this magic of beautiful something’s soon only remembered in conversations with or about the lovers you shared the magic with is what #dillicious life is built on. as always i feel it is my duty to remind you to dine with only those dear to you. dinner, much like an art gallery, is hardly a suitable place for hostility.
altho i struggle to understand when, much less why, the patio space is or is not open, i relish an opportunity to disappear within this hidden greenhouse treasure. at eva ideas of curation on gallery par step beyond food and decor. this experiential mastery, is a pleasure unlike any other. when you and your whoevers step into this space, energies shift, as you are transported to a vacuum in time. uninteruptive tho engaged service from truly gorgeous creatures will cradle you in hospitalities finest moments and warp your entire posse to a universe somehow free of concern; where life is built on moments dressed in bold flavours and memories never forgotten. without notice one plate or sip begins rolling into another, like a story fueled and finished by its own tale. surrounding hues grow warmer as the sun slouches deeper atop our quickly evolving salty skyline. sounds of a metropolis swell in an often too soon, soft reminder; eventually you and your people will return to the reality from which you came.
this reality; reentry can indeed be harsh, for which i advise a crescendo of desserts and coffee, sugar and caffeine are the parachute and landing pad to the end of an experience like this. a tangy pot-d’creme rich with whey protein is offered from the kitchen here as something of a cheesecake. acidic yet sweet, seasonal fruits, served preserved and candied erode the cheesy creamy in perfect compliment to the textural perfection of a semolina crumb crust all too prepared for soaking up any lingering juices.
this beacon of yum has been one our cities brightest brilliant concepts for years. not without having learned and changed along the way, this spot has become one of only a few “grown-up," or perhaps more appropriately said; “mature” restaurants here in salt lake city. ideas curated into a better ideas, adapted because they can be, not need be, forever full of impressionable resiliently brilliant moments that fuel spread-the-word reactions; are the best of ideas indeed. humans have, do, and will always spin tales of places that offer incredible provisions or romance and a wooing atmosphere. cast yourself and your lovers in one of those narrative here, somehow these tales at eva are ever the most #dillicious.