Toluca Lake's dining scene moves a little slower than other parts of the Valley, but with a place like Forman's, which soft opens August 21, the neighborhood takes a nice step forward. The place feels like a hunting lodge lifted right out of the Adirondacks or upstate New York, which means a subtle set of taxidermy on the walls, gorgeous paneling, and some of the nicest tables you'll see in the Valley.
ACME Hospitality Group lands another solid project in the 818 after debuting with the highly successful Laurel Tavern a few years ago. Inside, find hickory flooring, some rustic kitsch on the walls, and a muscular bar lined with (of course) plenty of whiskey.
As for the fare, it's a little bit more helter-skelter. Spinach and artichoke dip, roasted marrow bones, short rib carpaccio, and homemade biscuits highlight the starters while mains include a slew of sandwiches, burgers, and stuffed trout, all priced under $20 for an affordable meal. Cocktails from Dylan Snyder won't rock the boat, but mix up bonded rye with sage and buckwheat honey for a modern take on the Gold Rush. Or sip on a rosemary paloma for something more refreshing.
ACME picked up the iconic Lucy's 51, which had lived previously as the Hollywood star stop The Money Tree back in the 50s and 60s. Partners Will Shamlian, Michael Leko, and Jonny Valenti landed the space last year before transforming it to this well-crafted concept. Hours run 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
10149 Riverside Drive
Los Angeles, CA 91602