A-Frame: 99 Essential Restaurants 2013
PHOTO BY ANNE FISHBEIN

A-Frame: 99 Essential Restaurants 2013

A-Frame, Roy Choi's converted Culver City IHOP, begs to be taken lightly — there's the loud music, the beautiful people, the cross-cultural hodgepodge of a menu, the gossipy waitress who's likely to slide into the seat beside you and breathily exclaim, "Hey, what's up?" as if she's your date and not your server. (You wish.) Even though this food can be loosely described as international stoner/beach-bum cuisine, and although the place can feel very much like a nightlife hangout, you'd be wrong to dismiss it. From beer-can chicken to green curry coconut milk clam chowder with pancetta to roast duck with avocado and kumquats, the food here is better than the sum of its influences. You can count, for example, Japan, the Middle East, Spain and Mexico in the ancestry of lamb meatballs with shoyu marinade, garlic yogurt, salsa verde and citrus gremolata salad. There is the odd moment here and there when you wish Choi had maybe let an idea or two go unexplored. But mostly, you simply want to egg him on and bask in the broken rules and seriously fun nights he leaves in his wake. 12565 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City; (310) 398-7700, aframela.com. Lunch: Sat.-Sun., noon-3 p.m.; Dinner: Sun.-Thurs., 5-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5 p.m.-mid.; bar until 2 a.m. Entrees $14-$21. Full bar.

Besha Rodell's Introduction

Anne Fishbein's Photography

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