Chef Brendan Collins is quite content here in Los Angeles. The weather is great, the produce is amazing and he has a lot going on. His 2-year-old restaurant, Birch, is still going strong in Hollywood. And he's been busy consulting on the menu for Tower 12, which recently opened in Hermosa Beach.
But like most expats, Collins sometimes longs for a taste of home — in his case, that means British food. We wondered where the chef goes when he just really needs a British breakfast or some fish and chips and a pint of beer. Here are his seven go-to spots.
7. Cock 'n Bull
"When you’re watching Manchester United playing at 5 a.m. on a Saturday, there is no better place for a good fry-up than here. They don’t get a lot of respect for their food, but I find their breakfast to be top-notch." 2947 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; (310)-399-9696, cocknbullbritishpub.com.
6. The Pikey
"They do a decent Sunday roast that always hits the spot. The British/European sensibilities toward their cookery always satisfies, and is underrated in my opinion." 7617 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 850-5400, thepikeyla.com.
"I know it’s not technically British, but the Brits love their Indian food probably more than their own. My favorite dish that I wish I could make as well as the Badmaash guys is the butter chicken. The way they blend the kasoori methi with the tomatoes is way more than I dare to use in my version of the sauce." 108 W. Second St., downtown; (213) 221-7466, badmaashla.com.
4. The Local Peasant
"With locations in Sherman Oaks and Woodland Hills, I wish this place was closer to me. It’s a bit cookie-cutter, but they’ve certainly got the atmosphere right. You can’t go wrong with the peasant balls, cheese on cheese, and a nice pint. LOVELY!!!" 14058 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; (818) 501-0234. 22901 Ventura Blvd.,
Woodland Hills; (818) 876-0105, thelocalpeasant.com.
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3. Catch 56
"You can’t beat a good fish and chips, and they do it well here. Nothing too fancy, just good fish with good batter and proper chips, loaded up with malt vinegar." 5615 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 667-2777, catch56losangeles.com.
2. The Bellwether
"My mate Ted [Hopson] might not be happy about me calling his restaurant British, but he did go with the classic British gastropub formula. It’s probably the best and certainly the most creative place on my list. I love his cauliflower dish, and the chips he makes are incredible. All in all, it’s everything you look for in a good neighborhood restaurant." 13251 Ventura Blvd., Suite A, Studio City; (818) 285-8184, thebellwetherla.com.
1. Ye Olde King’s Head
"I’ve said it before, but I just love this place. It’s been a tradition for me, my mates and my family for years, and will continue to be for years to come. There’s nothing like a soggy sausage roll dipped in brown sauce while watching the footy and having a game of darts." 116 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 451-1402, yeoldekingshead.com.