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The York, gastropub in Mt. Washington

On Tuesday night I went to The York, a new gastropub at 5018 York Blvd. in Mt. Washington, near Eagle Rock. Pretty easy to get to from the 110/Pasadena Freeway.

The place was great. I had a cheddar burger and fries and several beers (ranging from local Pasadena brews to more exotic European fare) on tap. They had a small but excellent wine selection as well and a nice menu for a gastropub. The cheddar burger was perfectly cooked (when I say medium rare I often expect to get medium, but it was really medium rare!) on a delicious bun and with great hand-cut fries. Friends had the friend bread appetizer (good) and fish and chips (good).

The ambiance inside was nice - music not too loud, lighting not too dark, and trendy without being pompous. We stayed for hours. You can sit at the bar in the middle of the restaurant, along raised tables along one wall, at rectangular tables along another wall, or in some big comfy leather booths in the back on the left.

A few quirky details: they don't have any menus, but instead have everything written on a few huge chalk boards on the wall. This seemed to me like an annoying affectation that they will inevitably have to abandon because if you are sitting in a booth, it is a pain for everyone to get up to look at the wall. There also are no waiters, so you order and pay at the bar. It wasn't too crowded on Tuesday, but I can imagine that on a weekend it might be a struggle. Hate to sound snobby, but real gastropubs in the U.K. usually have waiters. It is especially annoying if you need something (I wanted mayo with those fries, mate!) to have to go the bar. I just walked back to the kitchen, but you shouldn't have to, you know?

One final note - the guy at the bar was happy to split our bill into four for our four credit cards, which was appreciated. Hope they can keep that up.

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  1. I've been meaning to check this place out. It gets busy on the weekends.

    2 Replies
    1. re: katkoupai

      Hasn't anyone else visited? This place got no less than two write-ups in the LA Times last week, one a restaurant review and one in the Thursday _Weekend_ section (which was gloriously devoted to beer, yay!). I was surprised at how enthusiastic the reviewer was - I liked it, but wasn't sure the LA Times would. Anyway, I'd be interested to hear if others have enjoyed it.

      1. re: altadenafoodguy

        I was kind of shocked at that latimes review. I went there a few weeks ago, (admittedly on a weekend), and by 9:30 it was so crowded that the place had come to a standstill. It took us 35 minutes to get our check from one of the incredibly overworked bartenders. The food was good (if overpriced) and the look of the place is great, but I think it's unlikely to become anyone's next favorite spot until they do something about the mechanics over there.

    2. Just got back from my 3rd visit...another nice evening with some good beer and some yummy food.
      Had the Heirloom tomato w/burratta for the second time..just as good as the first and the first was really good!
      and
      Then fish and chips...yummy!!! Had beeen eyeing them each time I've been...glad I finally got to try 'em...the chips are in house made chips-crisp warm and just what I needed for my beer.
      We also had the burger again...gosh, I love that bun and the beef is amazing...still, I don't care for the pickled onions or the aioli but what do I know.
      We've also tried the peach cobbler last time-perfectly amazing.
      I love just sitting at the bar.
      Great random mix of non-attitude locals who just want to wind down with a great beer and good food.
      Good times.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tatertotsrock

        I went to the York last week and found it to be a fun place for a weeknight, but I probably wouldn't go near there on a weekend. Pretty decent wine and beer selection, and I found the dishes we ordered to be hit and miss. The heirloom tomato w/burrata was so oversalted that I only could stand a couple forkfuls. I did like the fried garbonzo for a small appetizer. One of the fish entrees was perfectly fine, but nothing special. My tasting was limited, but I'll definitely give it more chances.

      2. It's technically in Highland Park near Mt. Washington.

        Agree w/the "quirks" you mentioned...........they need to fix a few things.
        And like the posters below wrote......it is out of control crowded on the wknds. ......

        They are bringing in tons of money.......they should have a couple of extra bartenders on Friday and Saturday nights after 9:00.......

        1. The York is in Highland Park. It's near Eagle Rock, but not near Mt. Washington.
          They sent me a postcard listing their menu, thought it was some sort of special offer to entice more people in, but no. Someday I may try it since it's in the hood.

          8 Replies
          1. re: slacker

            Not to nit-pick, but it's 4 blocks from the northern border of Mt Washington (Ave 50 & El Paso).

            1. re: B Minus

              Did you get that from Wiki? I'm not so sure that that's right. To the southeast, there's an area that's actually Cypress park and sometimes gets lumped in as Mt. Washington (wiki says cypress park is to the sw, but it actually extends a little to the se). This is actually a topic of some interest to me, one day I'll get a true map of the hood.
              For now, Highland Parkers would not say that the York is located near Mt. Washington.

              1. re: slacker

                We've hijacked this thread a bit 'eh?

                I was going by the Mount Washington/Glassell Park Specific Plan Information map:

                http://cityplanning.lacity.org/compla...

                which appears to jibe with my own estimation of the borders of Mt. Washington. I wonder if an official L.A neighborhoods map actually exists, I'd really like to see it. LAist is actually doing a very cool neighborhood documentation project:

                http://laist.com/neighborhoods/neighb...

                I can't wait to see what they have to say about Highland Park.

                Perhaps we have different definitions of "near". Near, to me, means a cheap cab ride home. Shift the borders a few blocks this way of that and I'd still say it ain't far.

                1. re: B Minus

                  Just hijacking a little more-- those are interesting sites. I know I've also seen a city map that's closer up, showing street names, with the SE boundary of Mt. Washington shifted up just slightly from Marmion.

                  Wow, this is redefining "eating in the neighborhood."

                  1. re: B Minus

                    Per City of LA ZIMAS (zoning info. and map access system) ...actually it's not within the Mt. W/Glassell Pk. Specific Plan area. Per ZIMAS, though, it is within the jurisdiction of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, recognizing that the NC boundaries are not definitive as to geographic area boundaries, but are based to some degree on general neighborhood boundaries and affected stakeholders. City planners would consider it Highland Park...dunno if that helps y'all. Check the NE Los Angeles Community plan also as a resource.

                    http://zimas.lacity.org/map.asp?Cmd=z...

                    http://zimas.lacity.org

                    http://planning.lacity.org

                  2. re: slacker

                    May I just add-- I know where Highland Park is, but I still don't know where Mt. Washington is. Mt. Washington is a big mystery to me, although I know I drive by it on the 110 freeway daily. I think Mt. Washington is accessible via Ave. 43, whereas the York accessible via York. :)

                    By the way, Yahoo Maps does a nice job of showing the neighborhoods.

                    1. re: katkoupai

                      If you take the Gold line, it runs along one edge of Mt. Washington, in the area where the Museum station stop is (Southwest Museum).

                      I'll have to check out Yahoo Maps; since google local maps was invented, I haven't gone back to yahoo. :o

                      1. re: slacker

                        Yes, I looked it up on Yahoo Maps, and if you zoom in close enough, you can get a general idea of where each area is. I did this yesterday after reading this thread. :)

              2. I also love the York. I had a fish dish on a bed of seasoned rice last time I was there and it was stellar. I like the wine selection, not too vast but definitely geared toward someone who enjoys world and not just California wines.

                However, I have to disagree about UK gastropubs. The Eagle, in the east end, the quintessential gastro pub (and several others I went to during my last visit) had the menus on the chalkboards and runners to bring the food out rather than waiters. I also went to several WITH menus, but The Eagle is widely considered the model and is run much like the York.

                3 Replies
                1. re: lotta_cox

                  Hey, that's true, isn't it? I haven't been to the Eagle in a decade at least, because it is always so crowded and the service is so bad that the experience is kind of awful. But that gets us into the whole pub/bar vs. restaurant discussion (see numerous Fathers Office rants on these boards) and I'd rather not go there. I guess I would just say that a lot of successful gastropubs in England, which may have been inspired by the Eagle but which improved upon it, have effectively used waitstaff to improve the experience. One of my favorites is the Salt House on Abbey Road in St. John's Wood . . . I guess, in a selfish way, I wish The York would aim more in that direction:)

                  1. re: altadenafoodguy

                    i hear you. nothing wrong with a little service. i guess my thought is there are enough restaurants in los angeles as it is and i like the variation at the york. and i love the fact that johnny's is next door.

                    1. re: lotta_cox

                      love the place great addition to HIGLAND PARK

                2. I must have caught the place on a bad stretch of early weekday evening. My wife and I split summer corn chowder and an heirloom tomato salad about which I have nothing positive to say. The chowder tasted more like a desert, far over sweetening the sweetless sweet corn of the west, and the salad, while enjoyed by my wife, was bland and tasted mostly of water. I'm starting to think heirloom tomatoes are as much of a scam as Angus beef. Besides for pleasing coloration they offer far less than most standard garden grown fellas. The service – well, what was the hold up with soup and salad? We waited forty-five minutes. The staff was friendly, but the pace was unjustifiable. Sure, my wife and I were at our leisure but my grumbling belly , it was not.
                  The beer was good, but what's to be expected otherwise? This isn't some dive with decades old taps sputtering sludge and cockroaches. I had an IPA and my wife had an ale with a hint of orange in the brew itself. Everything else said on here I found true. Ambience good without being overwrought. I for one like the wire-caged Edison light bulbs.
                  I'd avoid the fancier menu items for now, and focus on the standard fish & chips and cheese burgers since no one on this thread (or in the bar at the time of our dining) seemed dissatisfied with those choices, and they looked good too. Yes, yes, that's all, but for a nine buck soup you'd rather think you'd get some highfalutin bread on the side for sopping, yet, alas, bread is mas dinero.

                  Also, York Blvd right there, on the 5,000 block, that's definitely Highland Park – just because its getting trendified doesn't mean it automatically gets annexed by Mt. Wash.

                  1. Haven't really hard anything else about this place in a long while, so I thought I'd tack onto this thread here.

                    A bunch of peeps and I were in Eagle Rock for Casa Bianca. For our party, we were told that there would be a 30 minute wait, so I thought we'd hit up a bar. The Chalet was closed, and while I didn't like the Columbo at first, I think my blood sugar was just getting low so I was unseasonably cranky. Anyway, another alcoholic option was mentioned at Bianca, and that was to go to The York. Knowing that it would be a bit of a drive, we opted to go to the Columbo instead.

                    After dinner, we decided to head down to the York, and I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the scene. Speaking from my experience (I've read posts comparing it to an SF bar), I have to say it feels like a Portland bar. The menu looked un-exciting, complete with gastropubs greatest hits like blackened salmon and so on, but a few items did pique my curiosity, especially the fish and chips since they had real malt vinegar at the bar and also the beets. A place like this would *kill* in a trendier part of town, but as it was, it seemed like only Eagle Rock and Highland Park locals, and a nice but not overbearing dose of Oxy kids. While I didn't partake of the food, I did appreciate the fact they had two Craftsmen brews on tap, including 1903 which I previously had at Hungry Cat.

                    That being said, it was fairly busy on this Wednesday night, and again, the scene is really great -- very laid back, definitely more blue collar than its decor might otherwise suggest, and I'm sure the fish and chips are excellent by the look of it as it got delivered to other tables. I'll try and make it back, even though it's a bit of a haul from my neck of the woods for just pub grub.

                    -----
                    The York
                    5018 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SauceSupreme

                      "blue collar?" excuuuuuseee meeeh...

                    2. Tried this place for the first time last night. FREEZING. Have they heard of heat? People were eating with their parkas on. The people who worked there were mostly in T-shirts. A few people left because it was so cold. The potato leek soup was great, but served lukewarm and with freezing temperatures, the soup would just get colder so we ate it fast instead of returning it. We were that hungry and hoped the soup would warm us up. Burger and fries delicious, Cuban sandwich too salty, and pricey considering -- which you'd think could cover the heat. We left as soon as we finished b/c our feet/toes were ice cold.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: luswei

                        Vichyssoise? :)
                        They really need to turn on the heat, it's been cold these days.

                      2. The York, on YORK is in Highland Park, end of discussion.

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: lwagnero

                            With the way old neighborhoods are being Balkanized (Valley Village, Toluca Terrace, West Toluca Lake, etc from North Hollywood for example) I'm sort of surprised that York Valley hasn't officially seceded from Highland Park.

                            1. re: Akitist

                              Went for the first time last week. Felt more like a neighborhood city bar with a mixture of locals. The burger was great and I would recommend it. Enjoyed the Craftsmen brews on tap.

                              1. re: Akitist

                                It makes me laugh when a new one pops up. Especially growing up in the valley. Another thing that cracks me up is NoHo. I almost fell off my chair laughing when I first heard it.
                                Does this place do any sort of happy hour?

                            2. Just had dinner there last night - will confirm that the burger is ultra-tasty!

                              1 Reply
                              1. See what you started? :) I have lived in both Eagle Rock and Highland Park and now live in Mt. Washington. The York is in HP...and that strip of York was and always will be HP. It IS close to Mt. Washington (less than 5 minutes away from where I live which is off of Marmion Way and Ave. 43). Living in Mt. Washington, your "neighborhood" is the surrounding areas down the hill; i.e, HP, Cypress Park, Glassell Park and yes, even Eagle Rock and S. Pas. So there...

                                As for The York, having lived in this area for so long, it is such a welcome addition to the area and I LOVE THIS PLACE. It's a beautiful spot (long cry from when it was The Dragon Chinese Restaurant) and the crowd is low-key for the most part. We go at least once a week...yes, the menu is nice although the execution is not always great. The fish & chips were really oily last time I had it. But the beer selection is great, wine list is so-so, and the bartenders and staff are nice but agree they could staff more on weekends.

                                1. I thought I'd offer a different opinion from all the raves about the food on this post, which inspired me to try it out...

                                  This was my first time in Eagle Rock/Mt. Washington/whatever, and I was surprised to find the area to be rather sketchy. For some reason I was expecting it to be more like Los Feliz or South Pas. Anyway, since I'm a very petite female, I was nervous parking and walking around there. I would have appreciated this knowledge beforehand, so I just wanted to mention it here for others who might want to plan accordingly (carpool and whatnot..)

                                  So this was last Friday around 7:30pm, and I was impressed by the beers and the service of one of the bartenders, but nothing else. It's quite a cavernous space, so when I got there and it was not crowded at all, it was really loud. It's also really dark, so it's hard to see your food. I think this is first and foremost and beverage place, that offers bites to eat if you get hungry, i.e. you don't go here with eating a meal as your first priority.

                                  Eating burgers is a hobby of mine, and I really did not like theirs at all: 1) the cheese tasted like it was especially super sharp cheddar and was not melted enough, 2) the "rocket" greens were way too salty & peppery, 3) I now believe that pickled onion has no business being on a burger, and 4) everything else was a big grease bomb (and not in the good way). All of the toppings completely overpowered the beef and the actually quite nice bun. It was as if the owners wanted to cash in on a Father's Office knockoff, so they threw on a bunch of gourmet-sounding toppings with no thought behind any of it, and then slapped on a $13 price tag. Fool me once...

                                  The rest of the food was good-to-mediocre, definitely nothing to write home about. You can get fries just as good or better throughout LA. The wings were kind of dry and very sweet - which they really should specify on their menu, since I would imagine most people expect the more common hot wings. The cheese/meat plate and their roasted chicken special were alright, but again, nothing special. All of it overpriced.

                                  I can see this being a nice place for locals, but it's a bit out of my way, so I don't plan on returning. But honestly, if I lived in that area - and I should disclose I'm somewhat of a homebody - when I would venture out to eat, I would probably drive out of my way to go somewhere else.