Jonathan Gold Reviews Son of a Gun | First Bite | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Jonathan Gold Reviews Son of a Gun 

Thursday, Mar 31 2011
Whatever the current style in L.A. restaurants ends up being named, all of it — from the small-plate thing to the fixation on local, organic produce; the off-center proteins to the international palette of flavors; and the resistance to even modest customer requests — may have its origins in the cheeseburger conspiracies of Father’s Office tsar Sang Yoon. But it also runs right through the kitchens of Animal, where Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook refined both the concept of fried pigs’ ears and the polite nod of refusal. At Animal, the chef is always right.
At Son of a Gun, Shook’s and Dotolo’s new seafood restaurant near the Beverly Center, the plates are smaller than ever, Neil Diamond rules the stereo and the chef is still always right. But it is hard to imagine what alterations you might want to make to a dish of smoked steelhead roe, maple-flavored cream and razor-thin shards of toast, which tastes like an extreme deconstruction of lox and cream cheese on a pumpernickel bagel. Or to a single Santa Barbara spot prawn, barely cooked, with a drop or two of melted butter; to seared albacore drizzled with ponzu or a few dimes of raw, sliced geoduck with olive oil and sea salt; to a chunk of the season’s first Alaskan halibut garnished with sugarsnap pods, a taste of earliest spring, or grouper in a broth that tastes like lemongrass-spiked Vietnamese pho. Each of the plates is exquisite; each is about the heft of a tiny plate of sashimi. (What is the seafood equivalent of pigs’ ear? Maybe the alligator schnitzel.)
What Shook and Dotolo are attempting here, I think, is an American version of abstracted post-Nobu places like Koi, with American seafood instead of imported yellowtail, jaunty Florida-style nautical implements on the walls instead of bamboo, country ham and cornbread instead of tonkatsu with cabbage and Dark & Stormys at the bar instead of sake. Just try and get alligator schnitzel at Nobu.

SON OF A GUN | 8370 W. 3rd St., Mid-City | (323) 782-9033,

Location Info

Related Stories

  • Deadly Pedaling 9

    California is a progressive state known for its environmental consciousness. We like to make fun of rich Prius drivers who live in energy hungry McMansions, but it's true that many everyday Angelenos try to do their part. Chief among them are bicyclists who commute. There's been a 62 percent increase...
  • Best Restaurant

    Trois Mec
  • 20 Best Restaurants 15

    "What's the best restaurant in L.A.?" It's the question I get more than any other, the thing people most want to know from a critic. "What's your favorite restaurant? If I were to only eat at one restaurant in L.A., what should it be?" I tend to dodge these questions,...
  • 10 Things Every Angeleno Should Have in the Kitchen 3

    Although the Los Angeles restaurant scene continues to grow and chefs and restaurateurs continue to dazzle us with innovative cuisine in inspiring new spaces in new parts of town, we can’t eat out every night — even if we want to. And with the remarkable surfeit of farmers market produce...
  • L.A. Is a Sex Champ

    Despite the fact that San Diego has for decades been California's second-largest city, it's number-one L.A. and third-place San Francisco that have been the West Coast's most-bitter rivals. See also: Here Are L.A.'s Top 5 Promiscuous Neighborhoods The Bay Area might have the Giants, the 49ers, and a red-hot tech scene...

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Trending