Last night Sang Yoon threw the doors open, at least momentarily, at his new Father's Office at the Helms Bakery complex. Seeing as this is one highly anticipated not-a-restaurant-it's-a-bar debut, we expected a bigger crowd. It was really just right, though. The beer geeks were out in droves, some chef/celebrity spottings; no one got out of hand, but there was some bad party etiquette around the food tables. But that burger turns people. With that, a few hangover observations:
1) Drinks were in abundance, and not too difficult to get the bartenders' attention. All 72 taps, plus wine, which is surprisingly fresh (i.e. the Central Coast syrah we sipped), were flowing. Things that might get old: A bartender handed someone a small bottle of "real water from Scotland" and a dropper to add "as much in" as he wanted to his scotch. For gin and tonic, the spirit comes in a glass with ice, mixer on the side. It looked like barely a spit of gin with a small bottle of Fever-Tree tonic to add at will. We willed more gin into the glass.
2) Line for food filed from small back room practically to the patio. Burgers, beet salad, asparagus, baskets of fries. Excessively long at times because the burgers came out one plate at a time, and people were picking up three, four, five halves on one plate. Total party foul. Burger: Still rich, still delicious.
3) Yoon, in chef whites, ear piece, making front-of-the-house rounds. He made sure people knew about FO's 'house-made' water (some fancy reverse osmosis contraption). Confirmed: The water is quite tasty.
4) Nancy Silverton spotted at picnic tables out front, Sal Marino from Il Grano stopped by to say hello. Tony Hawk signed a skateboard for Yoon.
5) Helms Bakery building not Culver City, but city of Los Angeles. We will continue to categorize it Culver City anyway.
6) The space is at least twice the size of the original inside, plus a huge patio out front, but do not expect a hostess, table service, reservation line. Do expect table stalking on Saturday afternoons. ("It's a bar. Not a restaurant.") FO II not opening today, tomorrow, maybe not even this week. Staffers, Yoon continue the tease: Just "soon."
· Father's Office II Update: Just a Few More Weeks [~ELA~]
· Father's Office II: Plywood Down, Inside Looking Good [~ELA~]