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Goldie's in Mid-City: Cocktails, Clams + a Big Wall of Succulents

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Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge The Mr. Rogers cocktail and a Cucumber mocktail - ERIN LYALL
  • Erin Lyall
  • The Mr. Rogers cocktail and a Cucumber mocktail
The space on Third Street has been drawing stares for about a month. There's a patio garden out front, under a gorgeous living wall of succulents, and behind that a glass garage door leads into the bar and dining room, framed in wood (including stacked almond tree logs) and mirrors. Very eco-cabin-chic. After ironing out the kinks in a few weeks of soft-opening lunches, Goldie's has officially made it through the first week of dinner service.

The menu is a familiar one, separated into "Raw," "Veg," "Small Plates" and "Large Plates" categories, and much like its cousin, Eveleigh, the focus is on California cuisine with farmers market ingredients. Per Goldie's website, executive chef Thomas Lim will be "utilizing primitive techniques with a heavy influence using coal and wood." (Are laser beams out of the question?)

This is an excellent place to be a vegetarian, with some unusual preparations (grilled cucumber, for example, and kohlrabi-green peas tossed with lime). Have you seen steak tartare before? Burrata with watermelon? Steamed clams and grilled squid? Sure, they're as ubiquitous as pork belly and Brussels sprouts. But here the tartare is mixed with chopped caramelized apple and the burrata topped with a scattering of "toasted milk," the clams are served with a pungent green onion soubise and the grilled squid with almond milk -- elevating the familiar into something new, exciting and, in the case of the toasted milk, revelatory.

click to enlarge Charred cauliflower and kale salad - ERIN LYALL
  • Erin Lyall
  • Charred cauliflower and kale salad
There's an interesting wine selection, but the real magic is happening on the cocktail side of the page. Brittini Rae, formerly of .ink., is running the bar program and the drinks are smooth, elegant and frankly feminine. Five specialty cocktails are listed at the moment, but as soon as the bar staff has mastered them, she has three more in her back pocket. Mr. Rogers, a comforting mix of bourbon, maple and brown butter meringue, is topped with a salty hibiscus leaf. It's almost too pretty to drink. Almost.

There are three desserts to choose from now, but as the restaurant gets its footing, expect cocktail, dining and dessert menus to expand. Reservations are accepted and recommended -- even this early in the game, Goldie's is playing to a packed house.

Goldie's Restaurant: 8422 Third St., Los Angeles; 323-677-2470.


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