Cool gastropub that’s serious about its craft beer – international selection includes indie locals like Eagle Rock Libertine and Solidarity, alongside all the Belgians and special cask brews. The food strays a little from the typical gastrogrub: Thai cobb salad, shrimp ceviche, truffle mac & cheese. Hip young crowd fills the exposed brick space to overflowing on good nights.
A lovely and stylish diner-style Vietnamese, so cute it even has a “small appetites” menu (pint size pho!). For those with normal hunger, it’s exquisitely done Mushroom Imperial Rolls, caramelized ginger chicken wings, black pepper pork confit, curry pot pies, a tightly curated bahn mi selection – and really good coffee. Clean red and white interior is sort of schoolhouse chic.
Highland Park gets a genuine date spot. This charming French spot is fancy for the hood, with dramatic curtains and sparkly chandeliers. And the food is equally fussed over, all locally sourced and artfully presented. Do the duck confit for brunch, coq au vin or moules frites in the evening. The accompanying wines are well chosen.
A decidedly new world take on the classic trattoria, Maximilliano does creative pizzas – lamb sausage, smoked salmon – and cacio e pepe alongside twists like braised shortribs and house smoked trout. Brunch is a scene here for the tasty ricotta pancakes and salmon benedict. Interiors are design magazine ready, with exposed ceiling wires and Corbusian concrete floors.
This hip but neighborhoody spot does trend-conscious comfort food – smoked deviled eggs, braised short rib au poivre, carrot turmeric soup – in equally comfy digs, with curved banquettes and glittery chandeliers. A serious but cheeky cocktail program leans heavy on the brown spirits – try the tequila based Mexican Pope or the Bourbon Fig Punch. Tiki Tuesdays need no explanation.
After Los Feliz’s Bar Covell and Silverlake’s L&E Oyster Bar, Dustin Lancaster goes Highland Park with this craft beer and wine bar. An arty crowd comes for the Latin-centric list, with obscure selections from Mexico, Spain, and Argentina. Retro stylish room has a central bar and vintage booths, and windows open onto hip York Blvd street scene.
Hip HP bar approximates an old Mexican grotto, with stained glass, aged leather bar stools, and a set of old church stools. The effect is amplified by lots of caballero art lining the walls. Chase a mezcal mule or jalapeno margarita with a Jagerson or Fertreuse mash-up shot.