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Jan 13, 2014 09:43 PM

Stocking Frame, anyone? I need a place the "hang around" downtown.

I have seen ipsedixit and TonyC recommend it to folks looking here at CHLA for something in DTLA.

SquidInk gave it a First Look review-let [the food was described as "pretty impressive"].

But I cannot much anything that makes me want to bet an upcoming Sat night with friends on...anyone?


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  1. What is it are you looking for CB?

    It's not fine dining, but just good solid 280 hitter, with a 380 on-base percentage, and a decent fielder that's always runner-up at his position for the gold glove.

    I like Stocking Frame fine enough - good, inventive food that hits the spot about 85-90% of the time. Avoid the pizzas and choose things that would make Arsenio Hall go, "hmmm". In other words, things that sound interesting usually end up tasting mighty fine.

    Enjoy the room and vibe, it can get loud depending on what part of the restaurant you are sitting at (fireplace is nice and cozy).

    17 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks, that sounds like exactly what I am looking for.

      1. re: Ciao Bob

        How did it turn out?

        I've been feeling the same way you were about it.

        1. re: BacoMan

          Dommy and I went a few weeks ago at the recommendation from a friend for a somewhat casual date night place. Ipse Dixit is spot on with the review though I don't know what is up with the pizzas. We didn't have them.

          1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

            Yep! We liked it well enough... I'm amazed there are not more places like this downtown. I'd call it along the line of City Tavern... with a touch more of polish all around...


            1. re: Dommy

              What do you mean by "places like this" exactly?

              To me it seems like there are a lot of places in DTLA.

              1. re: BacoMan

                There are LOTS of places, but so many of them are stupidly formal. or stupidly expensive. or kinda nitchy. or just plain chains (like pit fire). This place is not too $$$. Not too Formal. And still has the feel like its a find.


                1. re: Dommy

                  It's bit hard to tell just from the menu...what does food per person run on average at Stocking Frame?

                  Which places seem stupidly formal in DTLA?

                  I feel like Bestia, Badmaash, Bäco Mercat, Bar Ama, Church & State, Guerrilla Tacos, Kokekoko, Nickel Diner, Marugame Monzo, Mo-Chica, Mexicali Taco, Plan Check, Tiara Cafe, Wood Spoon, Wurst Küche are all pretty casual joints with good food, and relatively low costs for the most part?

                  And if you include Chinatown in downtown, then Chego and Starry Kitchen are also most definitely in that category.

                  Maybe I'm wrong though?

                  1. re: BacoMan

                    Not sure about the exact per person price, because it has a small plate structure, but the plates are rather large. We were happy with on veggie plate and one main plate. The flavors and price were MUCH better than Industriel (which has a similar menu) and I would classify in those Stupidly categories...

                    But Not trying to start an arguement or knit pick, but my main comment is driven on a 'place to hang out'. As 'casual' as you might think Kokekoko is... it's not exactly a hang out place. Neither is Bestia, Baco and the Church & State, which I think are a bit more formal than Stocking Frame.

                    There are lots of great places downtown, we live in the shadow of it and eat there often. Woodspoon, Monzo, Mexicali are one of my favorite places in the city PERIOD. But if I need a place that I can get together with a group, have room to spread out and not feel rushed and actually hear ourselves have a conversation, I think Stocking Frame fits that criteria a lot more than any other place in DTLA.



                    1. re: Dommy

                      Wow, it's hard for me to imagine a place being much more casual than Bäco! Is Stocking Frame more of a bar than a restaurant type place?

                      I didn't quite realize what you meant by a "hangout" place. I just thought you were talking about casual in terms of ambiance.

                      I agree about Industriel.

                      Also, yeah, you can't really hangout at Kokekoko, or really anywhere I mentioned I guess. I've never really hung out at any restaurant I guess. The closest I've come to that is probably at Bäco I guess.

                      I'll probably go try Stocking Frame out at some point as it sounds intriguing. I've never really heard of a hangout restaurant before.

                      The noise-level thing has some relevance though. A lot of places are stupidly loud sadly.

                      Is it similar to Wurst Küche maybe in atmosphere (but quieter)?

                      Just trying to get more of an idea of what to expect.

                      1. re: BacoMan

                        Like I said, in an early post, it's a lot like city tavern but the dishes are quite better. it's spacious. Full bar. TVs on the wall but it doesn't feel like a sports bar. It's literally a place you can hang out with a good bite, with friends, have good conversation while keeping an eye on the game. You never feel rushed. You never feel cramped. With their space, which is actually quite lovely, they could have cramed in 10 more tables, but they purposely wanted to create this 'space' which I am really appreciative of.


                        1. re: Dommy

                          do you think four people walking in around 7 or 8 ish, in the middle of the week sans reservation, would find a place to sit down?
                          or is it too popular to take a chance?


                          1. re: lemonsucker

                            Dommy and I went a few weeks ago on a Thursday and when we walked in they didn't have a table, though the place looked half empty. The caveat was a lot of the tables were open Bar tables and about 30 second later the hostess said one of their big reservations had cancelled and she could put us at the regular communal table.

                            1. re: lemonsucker

                              the place is massive. it even has room to grow.

                              i went early on but i can't imagine how many people it would take to make the place feel crowded. middle of the week, you're safe.

                              my issue with the place is it seemed like the entire menu was bland. somehow, even the cocktails.

                      2. re: BacoMan

                        Some of the places on your list BacoMan are closed. Tiara closed over a year ago.

                        I love Stocking Frame and go there for lunch all the time. With Pattern Bar, it is the most casual, easy going, friendly, hang-out vibe in DTLA. Super welcoming.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            Out of curiosity, what is the problem with the pizzas?

            1. re: BacoMan

              My problem with the pizza is that it was underseasoned. I tried the basic marinara pizza and it was either under-sauced, or underseaoned or both. Also, the crust lacked "chew" (or if you're Chinese, it was not "q" enough), and no char -- even with their supposed 900 degree wood oven. Which brings another point, it's almost like they got the oven for free when they built the restaurant, and figured lets just make pizza, without having the requisite skills to fully take advantage of the oven.

              By the way, the avocado corn bread is pretty darn good.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                So the other stuff besides the pizzas are pretty good though?

                I am pretty sure I've had the octopus and pork belly tacos at their original place (Lola Gaspar) in Santa Ana. I wasn't really that blown away by them, but not sure if they are the same tacos exactly or not.

          3. This is an excellent spot. The first I went was to grab a drink and snack before a game at Staples. Drinks were good - both cocktails and wine by the glass - and the nachos were outstanding. I usually avoid nachos because they are usually gross but I can wholeheartedly recommend them here.

            Last weekend I had a full meal and was surprised. I thought that it would be decent but the food was actually great. The seared scallops with oxtail ragout was one of the best dishes I've had in a while. Fantastic flavor in the oxtail. Kale salad was nice and not too chewy. Hamachi crudo over white rice was a great combo of Japanese and Italian. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable.

            The space is really pleasant with custom woodwork all over the place. A lot of places are opening downtown - this one deserves to stay.