Food: MessHall's whole concept is a swanky take on summer camp, and much of the food is in on that joke. From the review: “The chef is Keith Silverton, and his menu plays with ideas of classic American fare. Some of it reaches back to that notion of nostalgia for the institutional food of childhood, some of it hews closer to the outdoorsy nature of camping, and some of it takes on a Southern drawl. And then there are things that simply reflect the sensibilities of Los Feliz in 2012, like baby beets with farro and grapefruit.”
Drink: A thoroughly modern (meaning part creative, part classic) cocktail menu carried out by a few talented bar folk. You can get a fantastic Jack Rose here, or something called “the Hallucinogenic Whimsies of Banana Man.” The wine list is fairly short, and made up mainly of interesting, small-production American wines. Pro tip: Buy by the bottle — the glass pours are kinda skimpy. A good selection of craft beers rounds out the offerings.
Looks: The space, which was once the Brown Derby, has been outfitted in keeping with the campy theme. From the review: “The restaurant plays with the architecture and feel of a summer camp or woodsy lodge, with high, sloping wooden walls, a patio with glassed-in fire pits and a wall installation made of segmented metal lunch trays.”
Service: Young, enthusiastic waiters dressed in plaid shirts channel the energy of bouncy camp counselors on the first day of summer.
Takeaway: The food is often straightforward, but mostly very good. It seems in many ways like the perfect neighborhood restaurant, but it's quite a bit pricier than an average neighborhood restaurant ought to be.
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