Plunked on a corner right on Melrose Avenue in the heart of Hollywood, is a perfect little neighborhood gem called the Larchmont Grill. The restaurant resides within a beautifully restored Craftsman home which seems strangely out-of-place amid a sea of retail businesses. The neutral color palette, crown moldings and fireplace give this spot a very warm and homey feel. On the first floor is a small but comfortable bar and a dining area, but I was wowed by the second floor that’s used for private parties and special events. The space is tastefully decorated, and even boasts an outdoor “porch” area. Co-owner Mark Donofrio, who told us he opened the Larchmont Grill three years ago, was kind enough to give my friend Kim and I a tour of the restaurant.
The menu is diverse offering a nice selection of “comfort food” style dishes with a modern spin. Mark told us that the restaurant grows its own vegetables in a garden near downtown that they share with several other restaurants, as well as purchasing produce from a local farmer’s market.
Since I try to have fries with every meal, we start with the sweet potato fries ($6) that come with aioli, malt vinegar and ketchup to dip them in. I enjoyed the variety of dipping sauces as each sauce gave the fries a completely different taste. As expected, we finished them before the other dishes even arrived.
Kim and I both enjoyed their take on crab cake sliders. They were moist and flavorful and came on the tastiest homemade brioche buns with a chipotle aioli. And yeah, we got more fries.
With six salads to choose from it was hard to make a choice, since they all sounded really good. We went with the Barbecue Chopped Chicken Salad ($15) and it did not disappoint. It was a great combination of flavors with tons of chicken chunks, and the tortilla strips gave the salad a yummy crunch.
They take the classic American club sandwich and add medium-seared ahi to it. Though a tasty sandwich, the ahi didn’t shine through for me because it get’s overwhelmed by the bread. I would have rather tasted all those beautiful ingredients they use instead.
But the breakout star of the day had to be the side dish of Brussel sprouts in a balsamic reduction. They were sweet, crunchy, and earthy with just the right amount of carmelization on them so that they just melted in your mouth. We couldn’t finish them, but they were not going to be left behind. I took these home in a box to be enjoyed later in the evening.
The service was friendly and efficient. Both servers took the time to tell us about the dishes and how they were made. I appreciate a knowlegeable staff. If you give the Larchmont Grill a try, let me know what you think, I’d love to hear!
Larchmont Grill 5750 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038 323-464-4277