Honestly, this is some of the best food I've ever had in the Los Angeles area. The restaurant is a bit difficult to find, tucked on a side street in the heart of east downtown L.A., but if you know the restaurant State & Church, it's just across the street. It's a big red door. So, first let's talk about the beer. The menu is filled with artisan Belgian style beers, both imported and domestic. You can't go wrong, but talk to your waiter about what you like, or what you feel like having, and you'll get a good recommendation. Be bold - the selection changes all the time. I highly recommend the Ommegang Witte, if available - sweet, summery, just great. Then the appetizers. There are several mussel dishes to choose from - just pick one. I love the smoked salmon bruschetta - it's out of this world. And the mushroom risotto ... ay yi. I got a taste of the salmon sandwich and one of the burgers - they're pretty much fantastic. But let me tell you, it's all about the smoked wild boar sausage, with pureed roasted sweet potatoes, black kale and pearl onions. I haven't tasted boar sausage like this since my last meal in Venice (Italy, not the beach town). And if you're not adventurous for the boar, head straight for the grilled smoked salmon and taste a bit of heaven. Seriously, this is my new favorite restaurant.
Love the mellow vibe of this restaurant/bar and it's a great place to have a light dinner and a few drinks after a movie at Arclight. Went to see Julie and Julia last night and we were totally craving french/gourmet faire. Knowing this place has Moules Et Frites, we stopped in for a bite. Unfortunately, the mussels were tiny and really dry. The sauce, however, was loaded with flavor and chock full of garlic, leeks and butter with a hint of cayenne. The fries were a bit soggy and weren't seasoned very well and we had to ask for aöili. The crabcakes were decent, although a little to heaving on the cornmeal. For dessert, we had the butterscotch pudding with salted hazelnut brittle - this was the best part of the meal! Overall, everything was ok. I've had mussels in hundreds of restaurants around town so this place had a lot to live up to. As for the service: B+, drinks/wine list: A. We'll probably go back and maybe try something else next time.
Mohawk Bend is a West End bar in the East End. What do I mean by that? Well, one of my East End die-hard friends says it's "too clean" so he won't go there. But if you shower, it's kind of a nice change from the sticky-floored hipster bars that litter the area. They have one of the best beer and wine lists I've seen in LA, with rotating keg specials in case you get tired of their dozens of other beers. Plus, they get at least two stars for having an all-vegan kitchen serving a pretty yummy selection of vegan eats. Don't worry, they also have a meaty kitchen for those of you who like eating animals. Doesn't earn five stars because it's a little on the pricey side, with dinner for two easily running $100.