Where To Eat Now
Edendale Grill. Housed in an old firehouse and named for Los Angeles’ first movie studio, Silver Lake’s Edendale Grill is a bit of set-dressed history. Craftsman-era lighting fixtures with mica shades cast a warm, golden glow in the dining room. The Mixville bar has an original hammered-tin ceiling and firehouse doors. The kitchen serves up its own brand of culinary nostalgia for midcentury Midwestern American cooking: oysters Rockefeller, caesar salads made tableside, Green Goddess salad dressing, sand dabs, steaks and chops, even a beet-red velvet cake from the Waldorf. 2838 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake, (323) 666-2000. Dinner Sun.–Thurs. 5:30 p.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m. Sunday brunch 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Full bar. Complimentary valet. Entrées $13.75–$27. AE, DC, MC, V. American. MH $$ H *
Jar. Chef Suzanne Tracht’s interpretation of the contemporary American steak house means many sides and sauces and the occasional Asian twist (duck fried rice, sautéed pea tendrils, tamarind sauce). But meat, braised or dry-aged and grilled, is the real focus: flavorful and tender New York steak with the bone in, magnificent pot roast. The décor is tasteful, the art wry, the service totally professional and the noise level off the charts. 8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 655-6566. Thurs. and Tues.–Sun. 5:30–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. to 11 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, D, MC, V. Entrées $19–$29. California American. MH $$
Lawry’s the Prime Rib. When restaurateur Lawrence Frank misconstrued in the ’30s something he’d heard about the famous roast beef at London’s Simpson’s-on-the-Strand, he inadvertently came up with American prime rib as we know it: big, pink roasts glistening from silver carts, carved to order tableside and served with Yorkshire pudding, mashed potato, and salad from a spinning bowl. Lawry’s prime rib is as archetypally Angeleno as the Tudor mansions and yawning Norman cottages of Beverly Hills. 100 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 652-2827. Mon.–Thurs. 5–10 p.m., Fri. 5–11 p.m., Sat. 4:30–11 p.m., Sun. 4–10 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. Entrées $26–$42. American. JG $$$
Lincoln Steakhouse Americana. I would have bet there was nothing new under the sun when it came to steak houses, that every possible permutation of the Rat Pack lifestyle, every $120 Kobe-beef fillet, every conceivable tomato salad, cigar station and vodka martini had been explored. This steak-house thing has been going on a long time, after all, and even the most Atkins-crazed Robb Report subscriber could hardly want for variety. But it’s not the braised turnip greens that make the difference at Lincoln Steakhouse, owned by the people who run Paladar. What Lincoln has that other steak houses do not is young women, in packs and in pairs, on dates, on business dinners and dining alone. I would credit the well-known charm of the antler chandeliers for this phenomenon, but I would probably be wrong. 2460 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 828-3304. Lunch Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. plus bar menu until 5:30 p.m. Dinner Mon.–Sat. 5–11 p.m., Sun. 5–10 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, MC, V. $20–$30. New-fashioned steak house. JG $$$ * H
El Loco del Pollo. The tastiest roast chickens in the Los Angeles area, if not the Western Hemisphere itself, are the smoky rotisserie fowl beloved by the Peruvian community, the shotgun marriage of plump birds, roaring wood fires, and a sharp marinade made with citrus, chiles and immoderate amounts of garlic. And the best chickens of all may be a couple blocks from the Glendale Galleria at a restaurant named El Loco del Pollo. 230 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, (818) 956-5888. Lunch and dinner Mon. 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m., Tues.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Beer and wine. Takeout and delivery. Lot parking. Lunch or dinner for two, food only, $10–$22. MC, V. Peruvian. JG ¢
Mastro’s. One of a small chain of Scottsdale-based steakhouses, Mastro’s has the look — volcanic rock work, blackout curtains, black-leather banquettes — of desert resorts, supper clubs, casinos and other booze-filled refuges where the dreaded sun don’t shine. Meat dominates the menu; steak to be exact. Order the Kansas City bone-in, the porterhouse or the bone-in rib-eye (the latter, ordered charred rare, is a glorious, rich, big, big-flavored piece of meat with a crusty char oozing juice). Here, rare means rare, i.e., cold inside — yes. Start with the horseradish-spiked caesar salad, or the traditional iceberg wedge with blue cheese. Sides — fried onions, creamed corns, sugar snap peas, potatos gratin — are fresh, enormous, delicious: Split ’em. Finish with a paradigmatic Key lime pie. 246 N. Cañon Dr., Beverly Hills; (310) 888-8782. Open for dinner weekdays 5–11 p.m., weekends 5 p.m.–mid. Entrées $20–$47. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, D, DC, MC, V. American. MH $$$ H
Nick & Stef’s. Joachim Splichal’s downtown steak house pushes the genre’s envelope. The décor is sedate enough — banquettes wear banker’s gray — but annexed to the dining room is a climate--controlled glass case filled with slabs of darkening, crusting, dry-aging beef — a library of meat. The à la carte menu features 12 kinds of potatoes, 12 sauces and at least as many other side dishes. The outside patio — a sunny clearing in a forest of skyscrapers — may be the best urban dining spot in town. 330 S. Hope St. (Wells Fargo Center), downtown, (213) 680-0330. Lunch Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Dinner Mon.–Thurs. 5:30–9:30 p.m., Fri. 5:30–10:30 p.m., Sat. 5–10:30 p.m., Sun. 4:30–8:30 p.m. Full bar. Parking in Wells Fargo Center. Entrées $19–$37. American steak house. MH $$
Phillips. For many of us, Phillips is a Saturday-night ritual: the called-in order, the drive to the south end of the Crenshaw strip, and an hour in line outside the restaurant. A small-end slab from Phillips can hold its own with any barbecued spareribs in the world. The extra-hot sauce, tart with vinegar and so crowded with whole dried chiles that the ribs occasionally look as if they have been embellished with Byzantine mosaics, has tempted better men than you and me to gnaw the flesh right off their fingertips. 2619 S. Crenshaw Blvd., (323) 731-4772. Mon. 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues.– Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.– mid., closed Sun. 1517 Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 412-7135. Tues.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–mid., Sun. 11 a.m.–6 p.m., closed Mon. 4307 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 292-7613. Mon. 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–mid., closed Sun. No alcohol. Lot parking. MC, V. Barbecue. JG H *
El Pollo Inka. Beyond the roasted chicken that earned the chain its reputation, El Pollo Inka’s menu is filled with the seafood dishes typical of Lima’s industrial port suburb, Callao: hotly spiced ceviche; crisply fried catfish fillets garnished with a sort of Peruvian pico de gallo; and noodles tossed with various tentacles. 15400 Hawthorne Blvd., Lawndale, (310) 676-6665. 1425 W. Artesia Blvd., Gardena, (310) 516-7378. 23705 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, (310) 373-0062. 11000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Hermosa Beach, (310) 372-1433. Lunch and dinner daily (some locations close late on Fri. and Sat.). Beer and wine. Lot parking. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. Entrées $5–$17. Peruvian. JG ¢ *
Pollos a la Brasa. Peruvian-style chicken — pollo a la brasa, chicken on a spit — is the stuff to turn to when you’re looking for roasted chicken with lots of taste. The meat is remarkable, well-garlicked, slightly spicy, permeated with that pungent smoke. The flesh is juicy, the herbal flavor clear, the skin caramelized and crisp. 764 S. Western Ave. (also at 16527 S. Vermont Ave., Gardena), (213) 382-4090. Lunch and dinner Wed.–Mon. 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. No alcohol. Takeout. Lot parking. Cash only. Food for two $5–$10. Peruvian. JG ¢
Roscoe’s Chicken N’ Waffles. Why chicken and waffles? Is it a time-honored combination? Is there a particular methodology at work? Or do they just happen to coexist on the same plate, allowing for the occasional serendipitous splash of maple syrup on a succulent fried wing? We may never know. Drawing weekend crowds that spill out onto the sidewalk, Roscoe’s is the Carnegie Deli of L.A.’s R&B scene. 1514 N. Gower St., Hollywood, (323) 466-7453. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Beer and wine. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Entrées $6–$9. American Soul. JG ¢ *
Tasty Q. Around Thanksgiving time, this barbecue emporium may be best known as the home of the deep-fried turkey, a Louisiana delicacy that you can order here with a couple days’ notice even when it doesn’t happen to be November. Believe us: Turkey is not something you want to deep-fry at home, even if your cousin Lambert happens to think it’s a good idea. The rest of the year, Tasty Q functions as a genuine drive-thru barbecue stand. 2959 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 735-8325. Open seven days, 10:30 a.m.– 10 p.m. No alcohol. Lot parking. AE, MC, V. $9.25-$15.50. Barbecue. JG ¢ *
Taylor’s Steak House. The two Taylors are everything a steak house should be: dark, clubby, with red booths and frosted glass. The drinks are strong, and the menu’s long suit is meat, specifically steak, at very delicious prices. Never mind that you might be the only Democrat or Jew or nonwhite in the room. Get a culotte, the rib-eye, or the big fillet. 3361 W. Eighth St., Los Angeles, (213) 382-8449. 901 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada-Flintridge, (818) 790-7668. Lunch seven days, 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Dinner seven days, Sun.–Thurs. 4–9:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 4–10:30 p.m. Full bar. Lot parking. AE, MC, V. Entrées $12.50–$24.95. American. MH $
Zankou. The chicken sandwiches are good at Zankou; so are the falafel and the shawarma carved off the rotating spit. But the spit-roasted chickens are what you want. Such chicken really needs no embellishment, but a little bit of Zankou’s fierce, blinding-white garlic sauce couldn’t hurt. 5065 Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood, (323) 665-7842. 1415 E. Colorado Blvd., Glendale, (818) 244-2237. 5658 Sepulveda Blvd., Van Nuys, (818) 781-0615. 1296 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 405-1502. 10 a.m.–10 p.m. seven days (until 11 p.m. in Glendale). No alcohol. Lot parking. Cash only. Entrées $2.25–$7.50. Middle Eastern/Armenian. JG ¢ *
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