I love my neighborhood. I live right on the cusp of Hollywood and Los Feliz, off of Griffith Park, and a hop & skip from Silverlake. Here’s a list of my favorite places in the area:
Owned by a couple of chefs, Nathan McCall and Karen Yoo, who met while working at Daniel in NYC, this little storefront on Hillhurst never disappoints. The quality of the meats are incredible. I first hit McCalls when I was doing a little exper
iment with the Gent, to see if one can really tell the difference between a Supermarket chicken and a free-range local clucker. Turns out that you definitely can.
Every time I buy mussels from McCall’s every single one of them stays alive until I cook ’em. Seriously, this place might be magic.
You walk in and it smells like cheese. Seriously. And it’s not just cheese, they have a million different crackers, fresh bread, honey, chutney, and wine to go with all of them. The Cheesemongers really know their products, and are generous with the samples. Every time we duck in here, the Gent and I discover a new favorite.
3. Wood & Vine
Wood & Vine is just sexy. Sexy in that not-trying-too-hard, maybe-she-was-born-that-way kind of way. The lights are perfectly dim, the leather couches are just casual enough, and the patio is like the back porch of your fanciest neighbor’s house. The staff is friendly and low key, the cocktails are elegant but fun, everything on the menu goes together without being too matchy-matchy, and the chef breaks down a pig every week to make his own charcuterie.
Like Wood & Vine, the place is sexy and feels like it has always been here. The drinks are creative, boozy, and delicious, and the staff is on point. But the thing that stuck out to me the most after my first few visits was the absolutely cool door-guy. He remembers people (not just women), he is genuinely friendly, and has a really old-school vibe. So very Los Feliz-ian on Hollywood Boulevard.
5. Juicy Burger
Everyone is all obsessed with Umami Burger. And I have to say that I like Umami burger a lot. Especially their house made pickle plate and onion rings. But for an everyday burger, Juicy Burger haunts my dreams. The french fries and dipping sauces are addictive and easily share-able, and they pack up the to-go in containers that are not unlike gift boxes. So I walk my little burger box home and feel like Christmas everytime I get a burger here.
And the burgers are delicious, of course.
So far almost every establishment on this list is a small, local business. Silverlake Spice is no exception. Avid cook Bronwen Tawse opened the space with her husband in 2009 after she had trouble locating the spices in a recipe from Peter’s Armenian mother. The space is restful and unique, unassumingly set down a brick path on Sunset Junction. In addition to the jars and jars of fresh spices, they also have over 100 loose leaf teas in an adjacent tea room. The staff is eager and helpful, and I just adore the giant walls of spices.
7. Big Bar
The bar is actually not that big. It’s almost small. So I take the ‘Big’ to mean something more like ‘Grown Ups Bar.’ And that is certainly is. It’s the high-level bartending that you expect downtown in a comfy Los Feliz cottage. The food is good, dependable, if unadventurous, but sometimes you are just in the mood for a chopped salad as big as your face and some good chocolate cake while you knock back a couple of Benton Park Swizzles with a girlfriend….
8. Little Dom’s
Fruit Focaccia. Fruit Focaccia. OMYGOD, Fruit Foccaccia. It’s savory, it’s sweet, it’s yeasty, salty, (bacon-y?)…. it’s genius. The first question I ask every time we eat here is “What’s the fruit focaccia today?” and hope that they still have some left.
The Fruit focaccia, the cool vibe, the great staff, and the dependable food all keep me coming back here. The inconsistency of the we-take-reservations-everyday-except-for-weekend-brunch policy sort of raises the hair on the back of my neck, but other than that, I love the place.
I like firemen. And I love rehabbed firehouses turned into brick-y bistro wonderlands. this space has changed hands over the past couple of years, and I despised it at after my first visit four years ago…. but now I am converted. Its the patio, it’s the incredible economy of their wines by the glass, it’s the fact that every time I eat here I run into 47 people I know…. it’s on the list.