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.
The guac at Sausal is smooth and served with large, crispy tortilla chips you break like bread. The juicy carnitas leave trails of porcine stew all over your plate. The lamb empanadas are rich and delicious. This swanky El Segundo spot, with its dark rafters and mosaic walls, will serve the area well. Pro tip: also ideal for catching a light meal before or after hitting LAX.
Matthew Biancaniello home-makes the Pimm's for his Pimm's Cups at Avenue 31, an airy new spot worth the trip to Sunset Plaza. Grab a seat on the back porch; the views are terrific. Then get the flatbread with the truffled mushrooms and an order of short rib ravioli.
Barcito is an Argentinian gastropub that assumed ChocoChicken’s old digs. The empanadas and the gnocchi are stars here, as is the concise beer list. If you live in the area, this is a solid back-pocket go-to. If you’re Staples Center-bound, add it to your list of pre-game options.
Another great neighborhood spot, Forman’s is Toluca Lake’s Cheers. The bartenders make one of the best Old Fashioneds on this side of the hill, and the fried chicken sandwich, with its crispy, juicy bird between pillowy potato bread, is required eating. Order at the bar then grab a seat. There’s always a game on.
Canon Club is a welcome addition to Beverly Hills. The chef trained under David LeFevre at Fishing With Dynamite, and allegedly gets his seafood from the same source. We had a delicate bass served over pureed squash and a chilled, ceviche-style dish that was exquisite. We’ll definitely be returning.