Ammo, the modern American farm-to-table restaurant that thrived in Hollywood for two decades, reinvented itself four years ago as the Hammer museum's chic on-site cafe. Now, the European-inspired restaurant helmed by Amy Sweeney has opened yet another spinoff location, this time reimagined as a counter-service eatery on Melrose Avenue.
Enter Ammo to Go. With just two small tables out front and four bar stools inside, this latest concept is intended primarily for takeout, delivery and catering. As such, the menu here reflects more of a fast-casual sensibility than the upscale fare Ammo originally offered in Hollywood. One-time Ammo menu items like goat-cheese stuffed fried squash blossom and mussels in saffron broth have been replaced at Ammo to Go with Cobb salads and premade vegetable bowls behind a glass display.
Whereas diners may have sought out the original Ammo for its luscious house-made pastas and wood-roasted hen with Swiss chard bread pudding, passersby now might wander in for a chicken breast sandwich on their lunch breaks. The hummus plates, Caesar salads and soup-of-the-day make great ordering options for offices nearby.
But for all its simplicity, traces of the original Ammo can still be found. Head chef Mike Garber says he can't take the turkey burger off the menu because regulars still come in asking for it — even years after the Highland Avenue location closed.
The spicy herb-coated Parmesan crisps that were once placed on the table at Ammo are still made the same way at Ammo to Go, but here they're offered as retail items, along with house-made potato chips, granola and nut mix. Other menu items diners might recognize from the original Ammo are the turkey meatloaf with whipped potatoes and sauteed kale and the brown rice with broccoli, snap peas, asparagus and pico de gallo.
What's a local cafe without cold-brew coffee and baked goods? Yep, you can find those here, too. Ammo to Go is not dissimilar to other casual eateries nearby, but luckily, this is the kind of walkable neighborhood that can always use more. It's open for breakfast and lunch, with plans to extend into dinner hours in the future.
Ammo to Go, 6909 Melrose Ave., Hollywood; (323) 930-2666. ammocafe.com.