Tucked in a cozy corner off Melrose Avenue in the heart of West Hollywood you will find Strings of Life, the new all day café from Australian husband and wife chef duo Monty and Jaci Koludrovic. Aussies and Angelenos share a similar mentality and that’s reflected in the chef-driven S.O.L. menu that combines California ingredients with Australian staples.
The Koludrovics have adapted the traditional Aussie café menu to fit an L.A. taste with dishes like the Everything Bagel crispy potato cakewith smoked salmon, cream cheese, radish arugula and dill; a cheese and Vegemite croissant; a Basil Fowlty with basil-steamed chicken, sweet potato, pickled onion, arugula and aioli; and lettuce cups with marinated ahi tuna, pickles, butter lettuce, herbs, grilled seaweed, salted cucumber, avocado and chili. Breakfast i served all day in S.O.L.’s bright courtyard and charming al fresco breezeway.
The menu is extensive and inspired, with grab-and-go sandwiches and salads available in the cafe fridge and for order at the sleek counter. For those who still haven’t gotten over their avocado toast fetish (like this writer), the Koludrovic interpretation has a delightful texture and bite, combining cucumbers, fava beans, cornichons and chives. And for any homesick Aussies, there is traditional Fairy Bread with raspberry covered in sprinkles and Jaffingtons, light chocolate and orange cakes blanketed in shredded coconut made in house by Jaci, who oversees the pastry program.
A tribute to techno music producer Derrick May and one of his tracks of the same name, the S.O.L. cafe and artisanal coffee concept comes from Grant Smillie and David Combes of Botanical Hospitality Group, who also own the nearby E.P.& L.P.
A constant breeze paired with the healthy and easily mobile menu items make The Strings of Life from OZ a good fit for the current L.A. dining landscape.