Chefs Kris Tominaga and Brian Dunsmoor are serving up what they call “country food,” though the country they're presenting has a very Southern twang. Biscuits, pimiento cheese, and shrimp and grits share the menu with nods to other simple, European, country cooking, like steak tartare and venison carpaccio. They're following in the tradition of the kitchens Dunsmoor came up in, namely the New Southern of Georgia and Charleston, S.C., where Dunsmoor grew up and attended culinary school. Whereas Southern food outside of the South often takes on an uncomfortable cartoonishness, the Hart and the Hunter is presenting fresh, creative food underpinned by technique and soul. This is an example of a couple of young chefs achieving pretty much exactly what they are trying to — that is, a quality, personal-feeling restaurant that feels as much like a hipster dinner party. The surprising part is that the food is almost universally excellent, far better than what you might expect from an enterprise like this. No matter what you do, do not miss those biscuits, which are some of the best you'll taste anywhere in or outside the South. 7950 Melrose Ave., Hlywd. (323) 424-3055, —Besha Rodell

LA Weekly