HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

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.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  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.

    -----
    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.

        -----
        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.

                  -----
                  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!

                          -----
                          Chego
                          3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                      2. Where is it located?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: paprkutr

                          It's just a half block west of Waterloo & City on the N side of Washington Blvd. in Mar Vista (the NW corner of Boise and Washington).

                          -----
                          Waterloo and City
                          12517 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Thank you.

                        2. Looking forward to trying this place. What are the hours of operation and days of the week its open? They dont seem to have a website yet. Also, how long does it take to get a table and whats the best time to dine?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: toonoble

                            Hours are 5PM-2AM, kitchen serves til midnight. There's no way to tell you when is the best time to go since it's been open only a few days. I went Sunday night and had a 10 minute wait. A friend went Saturday night and had an hour wait.

                            About the drinks, the Conversion (i think that's what it's called), with tequila and mescal and other things is absolutely amazing. The Other One - I had like 4 of these. It's vodka, lime and cucumber (actually called The Other One), served up, in an old fashioned (Mad Men era) martini glass. We didn't like The Anchorman very much but I can't remember what's in it.

                            1. re: yogachik

                              Hmm, I think the Anchorman is one that I really enjoyed. But I'm partial to scotch-based drinks, so that may be why.

                          2. Went to A-Frame last night and had a great meal. Ordered the kettle corn, tempura, stuffed potatoes and lamb chops. All were really good (even the kettle corn - and I don't like popcorn), but the lamb chops and tempura really stood out. I absolutely devoured the lamb chops. Nice beer list too. Great service and didn't have to wait at all (at 8:30-ish); I tried two other times, but both times they were packed!

                            Can't wait to eat my way through the menu.

                            -----
                            A-Frame
                            12565 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, USA

                            1. yogachik, you have given A-Frame a nice write-up!
                              I love the idea of the small plates paired with community tables...and the high ceiling adds just perfect atmosphere.

                              We enjoyed the food and, as many have mentioned, the lamb chops were delicious.

                              We found the Kettle Corn to be much too buttery when it was hot and then it turned too greasy as it cooled. However -- and this is a big "however," -- it is a great way to mix it up with your new friends at your community table. I think the idea of something that can be shared at a community table at the very beginning of the meal is a wonderful way to get the conversation started. Our table mates were a little shy at first, but once we offered them some popcorn, their shy smiles quickly turned to a fun conversation.

                              I did not love the corn bread and chicken salad; still, I thought the idea was interesting and I appreciated the presentation.

                              Our server talked us into an order of their bread. It was just ok. I preferred to concentrate on the other, more creative items.

                              I like the feel of A-Frame and would not hesitate to return.

                              -----
                              A-Frame
                              12565 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, USA

                              1. Caveat: I love Chego and Kogi...

                                But A-Frame really blew me out of the water! The popcorn was unbelievably delicious--the furitake (sp?) lending just enough umami to make me consider ordering one to go.

                                We had the chicken salad on cornbread with pickled onions--a great blending of sour and savory with that amazing cornbread to soak up all of the juicy loveliness.

                                The ribs (5), were sticky sweet and were like the typical Chinese restaurant's on steroids--so packed full of flavor!

                                Sleeper favorite for us? The big salad with crispy slices of garlic, smooth cool tofu and thinly sliced sweet onions. Nicely dressed and huge!

                                The apple tart was like the dream version of the apple pie from McDonalds--remember them? This one was been re-envisioned and has the flakiest crust, southern comfort sauce and cheddar cheese ice cream. And I don't even like dessert!

                                Another thing to note--the ice in their drinks is hand cut. Nice big cubes that melt slowly so they preserve the craftsmanship of the drink itself.

                                Now all we need is a Roy Choi restaurant that's open for lunch!!

                                -----
                                Kogi
                                Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

                                Chego
                                3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                A-Frame
                                12565 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, USA

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: BunnieBear

                                  i really like the fried apple with caramel southern comfort cheddar ice cream. the beef jerky with beer nuts and japanese spice mix, didn't really do it for me?

                                  but has anyone tried the beer can chicken, is it fried or just kind of like the peruvian chicken doled out at places such as pollo a la brasa?

                                  how is the korean spicey chicken wings? for anyone that's also been to OB bear in Koreatown, how do they compare?

                                  It's a interesting space, a little too trendy for me. i wish it was just a little bit more relaxing and comfortable rather than being a hipster sport chalet.

                                  1. re: kevin

                                    Went there tonight. The place was packed but it was Saturday night at 7:30! Waited about 40 minutes but it seems part of the process and who cares with chow of this quality?

                                    We had the Baby Back Ribs, Blue Crab Cakes, Korean-style Wings, Cracklin' Beer Can Chicken, Peel-n-Eat Shrimp, Carne Asada Torta,Warm Cornbread and Chicken Salad,Chu-Don’t-Know-Mang and Fried Apple Pie. There wasn't a dud in this bunch.
                                    If forced on threat of death to select a favorite and least favorite, I'd suggest skipping the desserts to order an extra plate of the heirloom pickles.

                                    By the way Kevin, since it's been nearly 2 weeks since your post, I'm going to guess you've dropped in but if not, the Beer Can Chicken is a wonderfully moist and flavorful version of the Peruvian-style chicken we get around town . I haven't been to OB Bear and can't make a comparison but the wings comer in a goodly amount of sauce with a present but not overpowering bite.

                                    I say check it out.

                                    1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                      We find the heirloom pickles to be perfectly balanced and a nice retreat from the otherwise meaty delights. Do you recall the mix of mix if produce in your plate of pickles? Among the usual suspects from previous visits, we found the fennel to be on the mark - and i usually avoid fennel.

                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                        Funny, we were just talking about the fennel over our lunch of left-overs. I'm a big fan of fennel but I too thought the fennel was outstanding. There were carrots, cucs, yellow squash, asian pears and several other, really enjoyable veggies. We also liked the yams that came with some of the other dishes, although, just to nit-pik, I'd have liked them sliced a bit thinner. Can't wait to go back though.

                                        1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                          When our plate arrived, I glanced and thought, "onions!" On second glance, "hearts of nappa?" Taking a good look, "fennel - ugh." Took a bite and confirmed in my mind that in the right hands, just about anything can reach its potential.

                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                            Words of wisdom indeed.

                                2. Tried this place last week with a hungry friend, and we shared 5 dishes: lamb chops, 1/2 beer can chicken, chicken wings, cornbread chicken salad and kitchen fries. It was definitely a lot of food, and we probably didn't need to order that much. The food was heavy on flavor but everything was flawed in some way.

                                  - The lamb chops were tasty but needed something more than a heavily dressed salad to balance the plate. I know the menu has a bread on there, but I feel like it needs something more like a tortilla, flatbread or even rice.
                                  - Same goes with the beer can chicken (which was also a little dry but I chalk that up more to execution than concept) - well-seasoned but needed something lighter to balance out the heavy flavors of the chicken and sauces.
                                  - Cornbread chicken salad - like others have mentioned, this was an interesting dish with lots of flavors going on, but texturally it was off-putting. Putting a fork into it, it kinda fell apart into a soggy mess. Still, this was the most unique dish.
                                  - Chicken wings - advertised as Korean style, but I'm not sure what was Korean about it other than some pickled veggies served alongside it? The sauce seemed Buffalo-style, and there was ranch dip. As Buffalo wings, they were ok. As Korean style wings, they were not Korean ...
                                  - Kitchen fries - long strips or chunks of different kinds of potatoes and sweet potatoes fried. They were ok.

                                  Overall, I'd only order the lamb again, as there were enough issues with these dishes and/or better alternative versions of dishes elsewhere.

                                  Finally, they've also got a nice parking lot and easy street parking, but it might be easy to miss the place because it's pretty dark on the outside.

                                  -----
                                  A-Frame
                                  12565 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, USA

                                  1. We went last night and tried a number of things on the menu and I have to say, overall we were disapointed.
                                    Kettle Korn Popcorn: It won as best dish of the night. An interesting spicy take on kettle korn that was appealing to the whole group.

                                    Pickles: I loved the dipping sauce and the pickled carrots and fennel were very nice. This was my personal favorite.

                                    Ribs: This was the big failure for our group. First of all, there wasn't much meat and what meat there was not tender in the least. They do remind you of ribs from a Chinese restaurant, but the ones sitting on a sad buffet, over cooked and under loved.

                                    Chicken wings: The general consensus was that this dish was trying too hard. The meat was cooked well, but the flavors in the sauce were just too many contradictory layers.

                                    Beer can chicken: This was the other big hit. The meat was tender and beautifully cooked and the flavors were well balanced.

                                    Kitchen fries: I guess any potato that is deep fried is a "fry." That said the thick wedges of sweet potato, purple and white potato were served with some pieces burnt and some under cooked. There didn't seem to be any seasoning to potatos and they were lacking that crispy fried flavor.

                                    Salad: I forget the name, but I'm talking about the one with tofu and ginger. This was fine. It said there was fresh fruit on it and I did find two tiny pieces of something citrus, but they didn't add any flavor. As a salad, it was acceptable, completely unmemorable and nothing I would ever crave or need to taste again.

                                    Fried Apple Pie with cheddar cheese ice cream: The fried apple pie was good, like a McDonalds apple pie with a nicer bakery dough crust. The cheddar cheese ice cream didn't appeal to anyone in our group, but, to be fair, none of us would put cheese on pie anyway, so that may just be a matter of preference.

                                    Ice cream sandwich: On the night we went it was oatmeal cherry cookies with cinnamon ice cream. Ok, this I'd come back for, if they had this particular combo every night. It was Delicious.

                                    The service was very friendly. The communal table thing seems a tad awkward, as the tables are mostly 4 tops and I saw a number of people confused to be seated with another party. Generally people seeme more open to the communal table seating when they see long row picnic table styles. I personally kind of like the communal element, as long as I'm expecting it. We got in no problem at 6pm on a Tuesday, but by 7pm there was a significant wait.

                                    Personally, I'd probably head to Waterloo and City next door the next time I'm in the area. Nothing would really compel me to come back here. Maybe my hopes were just too high.

                                    -----
                                    Waterloo and City
                                    12517 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066

                                    1. Went to A-Frame with a buddy a Sat. night ago. Got there about 6:30, had to go about a block away for a parking spot, and still had to wait over a half hour. The place is a lot smaller than I had imagined, and is loud, but the cramped quarters forced a lot of interaction with waiting neighbors and thus some unique comeraderie. I liked the crab cakes, the ribs were a bit tough and the sauce sweet but they were interesting. Loved the tempura -- light, crisp, delicate, yum. And the churros for dessert were a real standout, hot from the fryer, crisp and sweet coated with sgar and cinnamon, with that unmixed chocolate malt alongside. I'd go back for that. Very happy service, with personnel that seemed happy to be there.

                                      -----
                                      A-Frame
                                      12565 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, USA

                                      1. Has anyone mentioned the clam chowder? If there's a better clam chowder in LA, I haven't found it.