Jonathan Gold checks in on Messhall, a campy American restaurant with quality cocktails launched by partners Rob Serritella and Bill Chait. Plates aren't always perfect, though the restaurant itself is conducive to a good time:
As you'd expect, MessHall has an important cocktail program, overseen by Erik Lund, and the daiquiris and mint juleps are first rate ... Chef Keith Silverton is cooking glammed-up 1940s dinner-party food, like James Beard with a membership in a CSA. Grilled artichoke hearts with nubs of the odd Roman broccoli called romanesco? Grilled salmon on lentils with charred escarole? Fried oysters with vinegary mayonnaise? Steak tartare "tacos" stuffed into shells made from grated, griddle-toasted cheese? If you like your food seasoned with a bit of ironic distance, Silverton's got your back.
MessHall may not be a destination restaurant, and you probably wouldn't drive up from Long Beach for a crack at the seared sea scallops with succotash, but it is where Los Feliz goes when it wants its "hog chops" served with undercooked grits and stewed mustard greens, house-smoked tasso with eggs Benedict on the weekends or slightly overcooked chicken seared under a brick.Burgers are "really good" and fries are "excellent, perfectly crisp and almost vanishingly airy." Don't miss the banana cream pie. [LAT]
[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]
B-Rod is more than unimpressed with Gordon Ramsay's Fat Cow: "The shepherd's pie probably was better than what you might get out of the freezer section; the braised lamb under the bland, lifeless mashed potato top was a little more stewy and rich than industrial grade, but not by much. Branzino ceviche was so besmirched by dollops of goo both green (avocado?) and yellow (horseradish?), it looked like a science experiment gone wrong." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: e*star LA frequents The Corner Door, Eat: LA visits Olive & Thyme, kevinEats at Gorge, Kitchen Mixtape tries Bruxie, and Potatomato drinks at Handsome Coffee.