About a month or so ago, Wife and I headed to her hometown, Los Angeles. One of the things I had always said about our trips out west, is that we always seemed to end up at the same places over and over again. This time, she and her dad decided that would absolutely not be the case.
We started out in Los Feliz at a spot called Little Dom’s (2218 Hillhurst at Avocado). Wife’s brother made a video to help promote the restaurant that I have placed down below. He told us we had to check out the pancakes, so I did. They were the best pancakes I have ever had in a restaurant (don’t worry, Grandma Mikey!). Seriously. The batter has ricotta cheese and blueberries baked into them. They were a perfect cripsy outide and fluffy inside. I also had a side of wild boar sausage. Fantastic breakfast. To be honest, I was so into my food that I don’t even remember what Wife had. We had a seat outside because we had the dog with us. The girls sitting near us had a dog with them named Mariah Carey and the waitress said they have a regular who’s dog was named Burt Reynolds. Awesome.
That night, we went out with some of Wife’s friends from college at a great sushi spot in Mid-City, Izaka-ya by Katsuya (8420 3rd st, near S. Croft Ave.). I guess this place is a spinoff of another great sushi spot, this is just the more laid back version of the original. Any way, the food was great. The stars of the show were no question, the creamy rock shrimp tempura and the tuna with crispy onions. Both were great. The bottle of sake we ordered was quite nice as well.
After dinner, we took a short walk next to the opening of a new bar where the owner knew Wife’s friends. We went to The Churchhill (8384 3rd st, near S. Orlando). We happened to be there for their first night open to the public. They made a mean old fashioned. The thing that I loved about this place is half was out side, half was inside but the entire wall was opened. There was then a fenced in outside area in the front of the bar. The music was great (LCD Soundsystem, Friendly Fires) and it was pretty crowded. It was a pretty fantastic looking space. They called themselves a gastropub, but since we just had dinner we didn’t try the food and I don’t remember seeing a menu, maybe because it was the first day.
The next day, Wife, her dad and I went to our traditional stop every time we are there for a drink. Tavern (11648 San Vicente near Barrington) in Brentwood is a great place to grab a drink. They have a quality scotch list, make a nice cocktail, have a few off the beaten path beers and boast some awesome french fries. Every time we are in LA, the three of us spend part of an afternoon just having a couple drinks and some french fries while catching up. We almost missed it this time, but all three of us insisted we must go. The bar area of has a very New York feel to it. It is all dark woods and old school looking while the dining room is in a very bright almost like you are outside. The bartenders are also always very nice and willing to help you figure out what you want, even if you have to taste everything behind the bar!
We decided to go to Umani Burger (500 Broadway at 5th) at the Fred Segal in Santa Monica. We parked the car and it immediately smelled amazing. We stepped to the bar while waiting for a table and I was shocked by their amazing beer list. They had a ton of Belgians, not what I was expecting in a Santa Monica high end designer clothing store. Any way, we tried a couple of the beers and had some great burgers. The burger was a bit small for my liking but it was damn good. I went with the hatch burger, which is a cheeseburger with four types of green chilies. Very good. The fries and homemade ketchup were fine but the burger is the reason to go.
Last, but certainly not least, we stopped at Blue Plate Oysterette (1355 Ocean Ave.). It wasn’t quite warm enough to sit outside but I think we knew we would rather sit at the bar anyway. You sit at the bar, order a beer from a quality selection and then choose form a whole list of oysters they have. We decided the east coast were better than the west coast for our taste and just enjoyed. The restaurant reminded me of one of the less pretentious family spots in the Hamptons. The waitress/bartender was amazing. She was friendly, funny, helped us with decisions and did all of this without being over baring or snarky.
We did more than this while we were in LA but I wanted to share my greatest hits form the trip. I recommend hitting any or all of the above!