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Restaurants & Bars 7

MessHall - Opening Week

andrew_eats | Sep 12, 2012 03:39 AM

I stopped by MessHall tonight. The restaurant is surprisingly large, on the corner of Los Feliz and Hillhurst. If you enter from the valet side, you will pass by an open patio with two glass encased fire pits. The interior is L shaped, with both communal tables and private booths. The theme of the restaurant is sorta like going to camp. The menus are humorous, and the staff dress to suit the theme. I sat at the bar with some friends.

What we ordered:

Drinks: Everyone at the bar seemed please with the drinks. The head bartender is very knowledgeable and creative when coming up with custom cocktails for picky customers.

Fried Oysters: This felt almost like comfort food for me. It reminded me of the fried zucchini sticks with Triple O sauce that I grew up with in Vancouver, at White Spot. The dish comes with both a white and red sauce.

Beer Battered Calamari: Pretty interesting take on calamari, I thought it had a texture almost like fish and chips. For a while I thought they sent us the wrong dish.

Steak Tartare Taco: Apparently this was a hit. So much that nobody cared to save me any beef. The wrapping was a Parmesan crust.

Shrimp Cake: This was decent. Though what really stood out was the romesco sauce made from pumpkins that we ordered on the side (it us usually paired with the fritters dish).

Corn and Cheese Grits: This did not last long. Delicious. The almost burnt pieces of cheese were a nice touch.

Mashed Potatoes: Smoothly whipped to be airy, and laced with creme fraiche. And as a plus, you can get gravy on the side, something so many restaurant that make fine mashed potatoes refuse to do.

Burger: They make a delicious hamburger. It was just oozing out juice as it sat on the table. It comes with sage seasoned fries and home made ketchup.

Hog Chop: Their porkchop on the bone is sous vide, and charred briefly. Really nice and moist. It's topped with Tabasco butter. Comes with a side of sauteed greens with bacon.

Butcher's Steak: This was arguably the surprise of the night. A cut of meat from the center of the cattle that butchers usually keep and take home themselves. The sinew was very apparent. Cooked rare, which is exactly how one should enjoy this particular piece of meat. It was set over a salsa verde sauce, which seemed to match perfectly.

We finished the night unable to eat dessert, thought the play on smores seemed popular. The staff seemed in a good mood, so we were treated to complimentary digestifs.

The service was very attentive and accommodating all night, swift and subtle. The food also comes out impressively fast, a rarity for restaurants this size. Overall, I'm quite impressed with the restaurant, especially being its first few days. So many places seem to get things wrong in their early stages and on busy nights, but not this one. I was told they are designing a brunch menu with a unique version of a bloody mary and other specialties. I would be excited to return.

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