Americans have always had an embarrassing love for all things British. Witness how we collectively lose our minds over the Royal Family and have given Hugh Grant a career purely on the basis of his accent.
Lately, this Brit obsession seems to have spilled over, mystifyingly, into the category of L.A. restaurant names. Because for reasons that have nothing to do with the restaurants themselves (thankfully, Gordon Ramsay seems done with us for now), an astonishing number of new restaurants are opening with names that seem more like they belong to 18th-century Yorkshire pubs than farm-to-table downtown eateries or Sherman Oaks oyster bars.
Some of these ampersand names make sense. Connie & Ted's, for example, was named after two people, chef Michael Cimarusti's grandparents, who were actually named Connie and Ted. But the rest of them? They're cute enough, but we couldn't help but wonder what kind of places they might be if they actually were pubs in Great Britain.]
Faith & Flower
What it is: A new downtown temple to contemporary cuisine, with wall murals and a giant chandelier and hand-rolled garganelli pasta and Negronis.
What it should be: A tiny pub on the road to Salisbury Plain where tourists and travelers to Stonehenge can stop for a pint and buy some peonies to take with them from the vendor outside. You know, for the Druids.
Tipple & Brine
What it is: A new oyster bar in Sherman Oaks.
What it should be: A pub on Dublin's Grafton Street that has specialized in pickled eggs for the last 250 years. A favorite haunt of Joyce and Beckett, also possibly Flann O'Brien, but that might have been the pub next door.
Cast & Plow
What it is: A new restaurant specializing in Spanish-Mediterranean and California cuisine, at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Rey.
What it should be: The pub next door to Tipple & Brine. Probably Flann O'Brien's favorite, owing to the many etchings of Co. Tyrone fields on the walls, which reminded him of home.
Love and Salt
What it is: A forthcoming restaurant from the owners of the recently-shuttered Café Pierre, going into the same Manhattan Beach location.
What it should be: Not far from the Maldon salt fields, a tiny Essex pub known for its smoked salmon and the little B&B above the bar, where local couples often honeymoon.
Pine & Crane
What it is: A new Taiwanese restaurant in Silver Lake. The name on this one at least has a great history: It's the name of the owner's grandfather's noodle company in China.
What it should be: A cozy public house in Tyndrum (check out the old pine forests nearby!), this little brewpub also has a nearby lake and a picnic-and-growler special for hikers and visiting birders.
Wolf & Crane
What it is: A new bar in Little Tokyo.
What it should be: Another quaint pub on the outskirts of Scotland's Caledonian forest, this pub has a lovely fireplace for cold nights and five kinds of stout, as well as two award-winning porters. Nice taxidermy too, a hobby of the bartender's.