Highly Likely opened a second location on Friday, November 17 in Highland Park. The 5,000-square-foot day-to-night restaurant sits across the street from Rosty Peruvian and Checker Hall and is one block away from the ever-busy Villas Tacos. The latest location shares a similar vibe to the original in West Adams, however, the new spot boasts expansive seating areas, a full dinner menu, and an indoor/outdoor bar serving cocktails.
The Highland Park location, which occupies office space previously taken by an architecture firm, has been in the works for some time following failed attempts to open a second restaurant in West Adams, co-owner and chef Kat Turner tells Eater. Also behind the project are partners Cary Mosier of Gracias Madre, and wife-and-husband team Chelsea and Alex Matthews; Chelsea owns Another while Alex owns Here Studio.
Turner hopes that the Highland Park restaurant will attract a similar stream of regulars as the original. “In West Adams, we have that kind of place where some people come every single day, or at least four times a week and get the same thing every time,” says Turner. “I am here to satisfy those creatures of habit”
Highly Likely is offering fast-casual service and lighter breakfast and lunch fare including sandwiches, salads, and bowls from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. A robust coffee menu is managed by Dayglow’s Emily Elmore.
Turner and sous chef Christian Sanchez’s dinner menu comes to life from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. On the menu are yuzu deviled eggs, steak tartare, and chicken liver mousse to start, along with a spin on a Mediterranean fattoush salad with lettuce, cucumber, chickpeas, onion, dried cherries, feta, and crispy pita. Plant-based diners can order the Caesar salad made without anchovies and cheese. Midwest comforts from Turner’s childhood, including fettuccine Alfredo, fried chicken schnitzel, and steak au poivre, also make an appearance on the evening menu. For dessert, Turner deep fries gianduja stuffed rice pudding and tops it with a Copalli Rum creme anglaise sauce for a sweet take on arancini.
Bar Franca’s Diana Danaila’s cocktail menu includes a paloma on draft made with a blend of tequila, Espadin Mezcal, grapefruit, and citrus soda. Also on the drinks menu are beer, wine, Negronis, martinis, margaritas, and mocktails. Pina colada slushies and daiquiri slushies are dispensed only on weekends. The outdoor bar will remain closed until dinner, though outdoor seating is available at all hours.
Leading up to the opening, community demonstrators picketed outside Highly Likely in August to protest gentrification and the rise of incoming restaurants seeking liquor licenses. Ángela Gonzales-Torres, president of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, contested Highly Likely’s alcoholic beverage license application. “It is a protest I have filed with the state (Alcoholic Beverage Control) as an individual and will be moving forward with my community behind me,” Gonzales-Torres tells Eater; Eater was unable to confirm if the complaint was filed with ABC.
Turner tells Eater that Highly Likely is responding to the community protest on two fronts. First, the restaurant partnered with Community Spirit vodka to raise money for the non-profit No Us Without You. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle will be donated to the nonprofit benefiting undocumented restaurant workers. Second, Highly Likely is hiring directly from the community where possible. “We really focused on hiring people who live in Highland Park,” Turner says. “We’re available to have conversations and find ways to coexist.”
Highly Likely is located at 5526 N. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90042. Hours are Tuesday through Sun from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with expanded hours in the coming weeks.