Like a well-worn vintage tee shirt, Eveleigh is a place of comfort. Which is likely the reason behind the hip, seasonally-driven restaurant's appeal. It's a warm, unpretentious spot with weathered wood tables, tarnished metal embellishments, and golden light that hides everyone's imperfections. However, even on its first day of service Eveleigh bore these characteristics of age, in a way that somehow fit, or was rather a breath of fresh air from the slick and shiny smattering of restaurants it considers neighbors. And Angelenos took note. Even after two years, a point at which many restaurants lose steam, Eveleigh is just as crowded as ever. Be it Dave Kupchinsky's elixirs at the bar or chef Jordan Toft's whole roasted goat. Here now GM Jeremy Adler on regulars, uni, and the road ahead.
It's 8 p.m. on a Saturday, what's the wait for a two-top with no reservations? It depends on a lot of different things. In the summertime we have a lot of beautiful space on our front patio so there could be no wait. We offer the two bars for dining, both the front and the back bar. It's actually easier to get a walk-in on a Friday or Saturday than it is on a Wednesday or Thursday because that's when we have a lot of our regular clientele.
Is there anything I can do to make that shorter? If you bring me something that you made, like, jam or a slice of cake, or ... if you bring me an upside down cake I'll get you in really quickly. Chocolate. Chocolate's good.
What do you think draws people to the restaurant? It's amazing. We are such a different restaurant at such different times. I was just having this conversation with chef Jordan [Toft] on Friday. Friday is a perfect example. Friday at lunch we have a lot of people come in just from the neighborhood to get a bite, they can sneak in a drink before they have to go back to work and finish their day. We also had a truffle lunch where the chef put together this beautiful lunch, five, six courses for a bunch of guys who brought some wine and really threw down. We were drinking 1983 Barolo, or, I'm sorry it was '78 Barolo, amazing Barolo and Barbaresco and exceptional dessert wine. And they wanted to have that type of experience. And we have people come in and they want to enjoy half of a roast goat or a roast goat leg or some just come and sit at the bar and have a hamburger and a beer. But ultimately what makes people want to come back here is the way they feel. People come here ultimately because they enjoy how we make people feel and there's this tremendous sense of community that we try to create. And, we want to be just a place that people feel comfortable in and they feel warmth and hospitality and just come to enjoy themselves. And that's ultimately why people go back again and again.
Do you get a lot of regulars? Absolutely. We love our regulars. It's so nice to come to work and see some of the regular faces.
What are they like? They're all sorts of people. We have people in the industry, we have people in the entertainment industry, real estate. Quite frankly I don't even know what half of them do for a living, but I just know that they're really nice people and they enjoy themselves here. And they come back and we want to create that sense of family and try and blur that line between restaurant and home. I think people continue to come here because we blur that line.
Do you all get a lot of celebrities? Yes.
Leave it at that, yes? And I want them to come back! And, honestly, I think that the reason why so many of them come here is because I don't care. Celebrities wait just like everyone else if they don't have a reservation. Celebrities get the same amount of food, the same kind of food ... we want everyone to have a good time and enjoy themselves. And ... I don't care. That's probably not the best way to put it, but we care just as much about everyone irrespective of their status or their wealth or what kind of car they drive or all those other things that play a more predominant role in other restaurants on Sunset.
What's the best table in the house? I wish I knew the answer to that question.
Or, do you have a favorite table? Do I? No. I love to sit ... I come in with my wife and usually sit at the bar. I think the bar is great. The front bar is great because you can see everything but then the rear bar is great because where else on Sunset Boulevard can you drink while looking at a garden and a view of Century City and the entire West Side of LA. So you can see the West Side of LA, you can see the garden. I have guests who will only sit in one part of the restaurant, I have guests who will only sit in the other part of the restaurant. Everybody is different and they vehemently favor one place or another.
What's your favorite dish on the menu right now? The Santa Barbara sea urchin. We have this guy named Harry who goes out on a boat, probably three or four times a week, and usually goes off the coast, off the back end of Catalina Island, take them out of the water on a Wednesday and brings them down to us by a truck Thursday morning and it's on the menu Thursday. And we don't do anything to it. Jordan is very smart in the sense that he knows when not to do too much. You know, a lot of chefs they get an ego trip and they want to mess with an ingredient too much to put their personality on a plate. And Jordan is the opposite of that. He believes in getting really beautiful product and then not manipulating it too much.
When you're not here, where do you like to eat? I just went to Bestia, had a geat meal there. I love to go to Red Medicine for cocktails, I love to go to Hirozen Gourmet for sushi. I love King Taco.
What's on tap for the future? We recently launched our catering division that allows us to bring the Eveleigh to your home. We can roast whole
animals and keep it rustic and simple or something elegant and refined. We got New Years coming up. We're going to do basically an Eveleigh social. It's going to be a four-course menu, we're going to have a cool live band, and just throw a party. I've got some other big things in the pipeline but I don't want to tell you them until I get the paper signed but we're going to do some cool stuff, I promise. It's going to involve our roots somehow, I'll leave it at that.
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