Review: Hart and the Hunter

Los Angeles
27 August 2013

After a few days of apartment hunting in my old turf, I headed west to Los Angeles for a few days. Originally I was here to help a friend, but that turned out to not be needed…so my schedule freed up unexpectedly. Nevertheless I did not need the 1.5 hours wait for a car at Dollar… So after a trying day, I needed a good meal.

My first evening back in LA I took the recommendation of the excellent LA-area food blogger Tiffany Shinn of Eat Your Heart Out LA fame, and headed to The Hart and The Hunter on Melrose just off of Hollywood.

I drove up to the Pali Hotel, where the restaurant was based…to be honest I wasn’t happy with the valet policy. I was driving to look for a spot myself (looked empty) and the valet gave me a derisory wave…so I went back… Whatever…I handed my keys, not wanting any aggravation…

The restaurant, a former pop-up, wasn’t very busy yet, so I took a cozy corner table and enjoyed the evening. As I was driving, I had to limit my drinking (I really hate this aspect of LA) so stuck to a few glasses of albariño from Los Olivos.

A lot of the dishes looked interesting; most people had been recommending the biscuits starter, but I decided to skip it, and instead, to try some of the dishes that hadn’t been on the menu before…or ones I really wanted to try. So I started with two starters.

chicken_cracklin_1

First was the chicken crackling, three sizeable sheets of deliciousness. It probably ain’t good for my health, but whatever, these were delicious. The last one was perhaps a little salty, and the spicy vinegar a little too bland, but this was bloody good.

crab_claws

The second starter I ordered was the crab claws swimming in butter. Nice and tasty…again, probably not too healthy with the volume of butter. But they worked well with the bread. So far this has been quite enjoyable.

After a bit of a break, I embarked on one of the larger plates, the oysters.

oysters

To be honest this missed a little, as all the stuff on the oyster hid the flavour of the shellfish. It could have been anything inside the breading. Too much being done to spoil the natural taste of the oyster. I’m always moaning about “over-chef’ing” as my readers know… Oh well…

I had a nice chat with my server, who ironically came from the same area as my current flat-hunting, where I used to live. We even joked about our mutual former profession. Glad to see happy ex-lobbyists that found a better calling…

I decided to close the night with another large plate, to temper the 3rd glass of wine (before driving back to my hotel near LAX). I ordered the clams with bacon and mushrooms. My pictures of this dish all came out a mess (I got some butter on the lens!!!) so sorry, no pix. These were good, but once again very, very salty. I read a few reviews about this place that mentioned the salt issue…

I headed out generally happy with the meal. It was solid. Aside from being wee salty at parts, it was good. I can see this do well in LA. However, the evening didn’t really end that smiley. Turns out the $8 valet fee (plus the $2 tip) got me nothing, as the car was parked 5 steps away…and he just gave me the key instead of driving it to me. What a stupid thing…

As much I like the food scene in LA, it’s stuff like this (and having to drive) that makes me see LA as a place I visit only once in awhile instead of somewhere (like Montréal) frequently. Sigh…

Hart and the Hunter
Pali Hotel
7950 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

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One thought on “Review: Hart and the Hunter

  1. Pingback: An Odd Trek Across the Pacific Ocean…All While in Los Angeles… | melhuang1972

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