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A-Frame

So I've been to A-Frame a couple times now, and have tried just about everything on the menu, including each of the specialty drinks. The highlights are (and I don't have the exact names of the items, but you'll know them when you see them on the menu):

Kettle Korn Popcorn appetizer that's soaked in butter and chilis. It's the kind of thing you want to order extra of, to keep at home

The Mixed Nuts with Beef Jerky is by far the best beef jerky I've ever had, period. The nuts are salty, spicy and sweet. And it's a real mixed nut bowl.

The Warm Corn Bread with Chicken Salad - and it has a sausage ragout. We consider this the sleeper, it seems unassuming at first, and it grows in flavor with each bite, thanks to the pickled onions and the green salsa

Vegetable Tempura - to die for. The broccoli rabe is especially yummy

Beer Can Chicken is soft and tender, and so delectable. Same green salsa gives it a real kick.

Probably the best lamb chops in town (the priciest on the menu, at $18)

I could keep listing everything on the menu, there wasn't one bad dish - not one. Each one is unique, each full of flavor and flavor combinations. And because each dish is meant to be shared, and the prices are so reasonable, it's easy to try at least 5 or 6 dishes (prices range from $5 to $18, but most everything is about $8).

And the must-have is the Churros with the malted ice cream. Oh man, is this good. I liked the Fried Apple Pie with Cheddar Ice Cream a lot, but couldn't stop with that malted ice cream.

They don't take reservations, and all tables are community, the wait is worth it, for the drinks.

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  1. I've only been once, but I thought it was great. I'm not the biggest Kogi fan in the world and am somewhat skeptical of the Roy Choi hype machine, so I was ready to dislike this place. But it won me over pretty quickly. The space is nice, the service is incredibly friendly, and the outdoor area by the firepit is an exceedingly pleasant place to wait for a table.

    As for the food, I agree with vogachik -- the kettle corn with nori is absurdly good. I also liked the beef jerky and mixed nuts. Surprisingly, I found the kim chee pretty blah. Beer can chicken was incredible and I wanted to bottle the green salsa (even though I can make a pretty good version of it myself). But I thought the best main dish we had was the peel and eat shrimp, which a perfectly cooked and covered in some kind of spicy lime salt. They come with a cocktail sauce that is tasty but extraneous -- all these shrimp need is the salt.

    I don't know if it was because everyone was excited to be at this brand-new spot, but the communal tables worked better here than at most other restaurants. We actually met the people sitting around us and shared food with them.

    Can't wait to go back.

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    Kogi
    Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

    7 Replies
    1. re: terwilliger

      Think about wanting to eat at a place whose specialties include kettle corn, beef jerky/mixed nuts, kim chee, beer can chicken, and peel & eat shrimp.
      Is that really what you go out to dinner to eat?
      Glad to hear most of it is well prepared, but really, it sounds more like a sports bar menu.
      And with no utensils, it certainly seems that their goal was to turn tables, creating an even less-likely dining experience.
      As to the lamb chops, I can cook them better at home, for much less than $18, and for two!!!

      1. re: carter

        What do you consider acceptable foods to eat at restaurants?

        I go out to eat for good food and a fun experience. I've had great meals at the Bazaar, where my group has ordered things that I couldn't even fathom making at home. But I've had equally enjoyable meals eating steak frites at Church & State, a burger at Golden State, and barely-poached shrimp at Water Grill. Sure, I can make all of those things myself, and pretty fell, but it doesn't mean I'm not interested in a restaurant preparation. Complicated things aren't always better.

        If you want incredibly sophisticated food, don't go a A-Frame. If you want incredibly tasty food in a fun environment, I suggest you check it out.

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        Water Grill
        544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

        Church & State
        1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

        The Golden State
        426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

        1. re: carter

          Your question -- is that really what you go out to dinner to eat? -- is a good one. For you, obviously the answer is "never." For me, it sounds great, if maybe not what I'd choose every time out. And not at all like any sports bar I've been to.

          And it isn't that rare that one can prepare food more cheaply at home -- but I I'm holding off on my own judgment as to whether I can fix better lamb chops until I've tried the ones at A Frame.

          Yogachik -- thanks for the thorough report on the menu. Any drinks to recommend?

          1. re: Capybara

            Their version of a penicillin was good, though I'm not sure what they called it. I also had a tasty and refreshing drink made with gin and vietnamese mint. Not particualrly strong, but would be great on a warm night.

          2. re: carter

            By the way, the Lamb Chops are, like all of the dishes there, meant to be shared. These would serve four.

          3. re: terwilliger

            Is this a good place to go if you don't eat meat?

            1. re: hungryLAmommy

              It depends on what kind of eater you are and what you consider to be, "meat." If you're a vegan, I think A-Frame might have three or four dishes that would pass. If you're a pescetarian who does lacto/ovo, then over half the menu opens up to you.

          4. This sounds so fun - can't wait to try it!

            1. there were utensils on every table when we were there on saturday... will try the warm corn bread with chicken salad and mixed nuts when we go back...

              pop corn was good. lamb chops were good albeit a bit burnt. we weren't crazy about anything to be honest in regards to flavor/preparation but it was a fun place, good for small groups (4-8 people) looking for an inexpensive dinner. peel and eat shrimp were average, chicken wings were overly seasoned. ice cream sandwich was left in the freezer to long.

              1. The chicken salad over cornbread is INDEED amazing!!!

                1. How much MSG is in the food? I find that Kogi food (trucks and Cheego) typically is full of MSG.

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                  Kogi
                  Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: peterx

                    I don't know how much, if any, MSG is in the food.

                    1. re: peterx

                      That's interesting - how can you tell?

                      1. re: peterx

                        I spoke with Choi about the MSG, who told me that there is absolutely NO added MSG. They grind their own spices, and use sea salt, only.

                        1. re: yogachik

                          Yeah, one of my favorite things at Chego is hanging out out in the 'pantry' waiting for my To-Go order... it's like discovering all their secrets...

                          I've seen lots of things in there, Spam, Smokehouse almonds, LOTS of nutella and kewpie... but never any MSG or Accent...

                          --Dommy!

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                          Chego
                          3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034