Because every Angeleno loves to eat, even if he has to valet, we bring you Table Stakes: a series that answers man’s eternally recurring question (“Uh, what’s new?”), and recurs once every lunar cycle or so. Bon appétit.
Chef Jesse Barber has a knack for boiling things down to their essence, and his new place, Dudley Market, which he co-owns with his wife, is an even more refined approach to what he was laying down at Barnyard. The menu spans breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, and rotates based on what’s in season. It’s off the Venice Boardwalk, not far from some new tech companies, and even has a market selling boutique pastas and knicknacks.
Got a gluten allergy? No Bread is a new site that helps you decide what to order.
If an acropolis and a farmhouse had a punk rock child, you'd get Osso: a dark, mid-sized restaurant serving shared plates and mixologized cocktails. Their half fried chicken serves 3-4 people, but hell, why not go all the way and get the full chicken and a bottle of bubbly to go with it? Start with something small from their charcuterie and fish sections, like duck mortadella, foie gras or octopus. And get the chilled wax beans.
Esters Wine Bar and Shop
File Esters Wine Bar and Shop under places good for any occasion. It’s next to Cassia, which always has a wait, so pop in here for a couple glasses of wine. Pick up a bottle or two and some charcuterie and cheeses for pier shows and picnics. The patio is great for group dates, or just when you have a hankering for rich, smooth chicken liver in a jar. The table next to us drove from WeHo for it. Little side note: Esters is named for the chemical compounds that give wine its aroma.
Estate Restaurant + Bar
The sunken dining room at Estate Restaurant and Bar, with its plush leather chairs and gold-tinted lamps, exudes the sort of classy swagger you'd expect from a mafia hangout, right down to white lap napkins with red stripes. Food is of a modern taste, and Asian-tinged: the tuna tartare tacos come in wonton shells, the Alaskan black cod has a miso glaze and is served with edamame rice. Their bar serves some A-plus drinks ... and plenty of leggy ladies.
The Bellwether, the new spot by Chef Hopson, might sit on a sleepy stretch, but it’s rocking KCRW-worthy jams inside and plating an eclectic mix of shareable, adventurous dishes. The fried cauliflower is like veggie crack, and with understated TVs above a bar that spans the room, this is ideal spot to watch Monday and Thursday Night Football games. Order some oat sodas, the cauliflower and the goat meatballs and you’re good to go.
Manhattan House's best dish might be their grilled lamb meatballs served with yogurt cheese and buckwheat tabbouleh — not something you normally see at a gastropub. Also of note: the House Burger, a gigantic patty consisting of 50% chuck, 40% brisket, 10% dry aged steak, aged Vermont cheddar, caramelized onions and a smokey House sauce. Fun fact: the wood under the bar and around some booths is reclaimed yellow cedar from old Hollywood Bowl seats, complete with the seat numbers still on them.