But the same Flay, known for his bold, unflinching flavors, appears in even the smallest of plates. The bar snacks, arriving three for $17, are complex, yet approachable. Our favorites included an artichoke heart, topped with delicate quail egg and uni, and an ice cream scoop’s worth of raw beef crudo, cubed with pickled chiles. Larger appetizers compete for their own attention, such as the tender octopus, smoky with bacon and tart with citrus. The three spreads – yogurt, chickpea, and white bean – are enjoyable for the table to share.
Flay wasn’t there during my midweek visit with friends. But if he was, I would have finagled a way to see him, shake his hand, and welcome him back.