Father's Office: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011
Were Angelenos amused when Sang Yoon published a scholarly dissertation on ketchup in the local paper this year? They were. Yoon's reputation was largely built upon his refusal to allow the sticky condiment into Father's Office, which was an unusual position for the owner of a beer bar specializing in hamburgers. Yoon horrified a lot of people with his formula of small plates, extreme beers, fights for tables that resembled rugby scrums, a refusal to admit children and a flat insistence that his food be served without emendations or alterations. But Yoon is a complicated guy, veteran of very high-end kitchens and equipped with a physics department's-worth of lab toys, and his drive toward the elevation of street food and the perfection of small things has nudged L.A. cooking in a direction that could not have been predicted in the days when the name of every good restaurant in town began with Le or La.
Even without ketchup, his cheeseburger is the most imitated dish in Los Angeles: dry-aged beef on a French roll, dressed with onion jam, Gruyere and Maytag blue cheeses, smoky bacon, arugula and a tomato compote. And the most interesting restaurants opening this year have at least a bit of Father's Office in their DNA; F.O. was nothing if not the original L.A. gastropub, right down to the tapas. 1018 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 393-BEER, fathersoffice.com. Food served Mon.-Wed., 5-10 p.m.; Thurs., 5-11 p.m.; Fri., 4-11 p.m.; Sat., 3-11 p.m.; Sun., 3-10 p.m. 21 and older only. Beer and wine. Difficult street parking. AE, MC, V. Also at 3229 Helms Ave., Culver City. (310) 815-9820. Kitchen open Mon.-Thurs., 5-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., noon-mid.; Sun., noon-10 p.m. Full bar. Lot parking. 21 and older only. AE, MC, V. Gastropub.
99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:
Church & State
Din Tai Fung
El Huarache Azteca
Euro Pane Bakery
Fab Hot Dogs
Good Girl Dinette
La Casita Mexicana
Lazy Ox Canteen
Meals by Genet
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
Night + Market
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Pollos a la Brasa
Sapp Coffee Shop
Son of a Gun
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Waterloo & City
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