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Aug 8, 2012 12:23 PM

Dinner with a 21 year old - West Hollywood-ish

Where can a visiting 40's NY Hound take a 21 year old with equal parts quality grub and hint of cool? Everything's fair game except sushi.

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  1. Red Medicine, Animal, Son of a Gun.

    3 Replies
    1. re: PeterCC

      My choices exactly just add Pizzeria Mozza.

      1. re: wienermobile

        Gjelina's not really West Hollywood-ish... :-) Need to try both those places though. Thanks for reminding me. Maybe I can convince my wife to go to Gjelina tonight.

        1. re: PeterCC

          PeterCC I edited Gjelina out after I realized Venice is not in West Hollywood.

      1. +1 on Animal and Son of a Gun. Although I am not a big fan of either, ink and The Bazaar come to mind. I think that I am in the minority in thinking that they are not all that, but they do provide a copious amount of external stimulii to keep your dining partner amused and engaged.

        1. Ok...probably not so much food....and I know it isn't really hound-worthy.....but how about the new Pink Taco on Sunset. You could just go for a drink and a snack....and then dine somewhere more worthy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: perk

            Eveleigh gets you the LA vibe on Sunset and great bar and music with good small plates menu.

          2. Thanks everyone. Plans changed a bit as he wanted to go long on food and short on vibe. On the advice of a colleague, we went to AOC and it was excellent.. We each did a fight of Spanish wines and had the following:

            heirloom tomato/eggplant salad - very nice start
            softshell crab with fried green tomato - maybe a little too much batter on the plate, but decent
            clams with sherry and garlic toast - nice razor clams. incredible broth - garlic toast was dunked and followed up with another bread serving to devour the rest
            hangar steak w/ horseradish creme fresh - delish
            pork belly with nectarines and ricotta salata - wow - pretty much a perfect dish. outstanding in every respect.

            finished off with a blueberry/almond crumble from the wood burning oven.

            I did hit Pizzeria Mozza yesterday and it lived up to expectation.

            Animal will wait for next time!

            7 Replies
            1. re: harrison

              Great to hear, harrison, and thanks for reporting back.
              AOC was an inspired choice. Sadly, it seems to get overlooked these days on LA chowhound since it has become one of the grande dames of small plate joints and we buzz much more over the spring chickens.

              1. re: Ciao Bob

                If I had researched prior, I probably would have skipped. A couple of takedowns of the place. But hey, it was new to me! I'll be back in the fall and will check out Red Medicine and some of the others. Thanks again!

                1. re: harrison

                  Wasn't AOC largely responsible for popularizing the "bacon wrapped date" small plate that became the de facto stereotype for all uninspired small plates? They were outrageously delicious, and incredibly popular when I had them several years ago.

                  I wouldn't be surprised to find that this dish was the genesis of the "bacon on everything" trend that is currently waning.

                  To be honest, this kind of thing drives me crazy. Those bacon wrapped dates were delicious, and people were absolutely nutso about them years ago. But for some reason it seems to me that people tire of the *idea* of the dish, moreso than of the actual dish itself.

                  I'm still unsure why trends dictate certain restaurant menus while other menus are absolutely timeless. Is it a gross generalization to point out that there are plenty of popular restaurants churning out delicious foods that have no need to change or churn their menu for years, decades or even generations (e.g. The Apple Pan, Din Tai Fung, Manuel's El Tepayec, Soot Bull Jeep, Sanamluang) whereas the trendy, expensive restaurant need to churn the menu to keep their moneyed customers entertained and on the trolley for as long as possible?

                  My 8₵.

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    My wife and I were looking at menus from restaurants we've been wanting to try last night , and she remarked, "Why does it seem like every restaurant has kanpachi crudo and lamb belly?"

                    I think the lamb belly's a bit of an exaggeration, but the kanpachi crudo's definitely spot-on. Doesn't matter what kind of cuisine, I've seen that dish on so many menus, it seems to have become meaningless. Maybe that's why people rail against the "idea" of the dish because they're overexposed to, not necessarily eating it but just seeing it.

                    I think DTF and SBJ are known for a single dish or atmosphere, and somewhat immune to trending, but many places these days emphasize the seasonality and farm-to-table-ness of their menu and perhaps have to live up to the expectation that things must change to appear seasonal.

                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      Yes, AOC started the small plate parade, but it was not uninspired at all -- I don't think that's what you meant but your post seems to make that implication.

                      I think you are being unkind to MB Post, Gjelina et Peter CC says this is more than churning out new menu's...this is mostly a seasonal, or micro-seasonal by-product.

                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                        >> I think you are being unkind to MB Post, Gjelina et al

                        I think you & Peter may be right about my being unfair, and I do struggle with that (i.e. my love of good food at any cost, and the cultural baggage that comes along with it).

                        It's the hipster love of the farm-to-table™ movement that turns me off, but the movement itself is certainly worthwhile, and a noble goal (culinarily speaking) and one well worth supporting. I just wish it didn't come with all the baggage (fuss, trendiness and cost).

                        What I'm specifically thinking about is farm-to-table™ as necessity, as it is in the developing world, where it is a practical matter of life rather than the trendy celebrity chef thing that it is in Los Angeles. That's the part that drives me nutty.

                        I suppose what I'm trying to point out is the cult of personality, not the personality itself (or the food) that necessitates my distaste for the thing. And that's the struggle for me, because even if it's served in a room full of hipsters, I want to eat that delicious thing that's put in front of me-- because of its deliciousness-- not because of who made it (with rare exceptions, like Sergio at Coni' or Urasawa...) or its trendiness.

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Ciao Bob

                          >> AOC started the small plate parade, but it was not uninspired at all -- I don't think that's what you meant but your post seems to make that implication.

                          I meant that over time, the foodie perception of the "bacon wrapped date" has transitioned from "awesomely delicious" to "uninspired derivative stereotype of small plates" for reasons completely unrelated to the deliciousness of the dish.

                          It's not AOC's fault that this happened-- and I never meant to imply that AOC's popularization of the dish was uninspired-- only that the foodie perception transitioned from "awesome, give me more" to "uninspired, no thanks" for no reason other than a cultural shift in attitude that had nothing at all to do with deliciousness.

                          In truth, the dish is as it always has been, delicious, despite the scarlet "B" that it now wears with a heavy heart.

                          Mr Taster