Hollywood takes on the gastropub
9 July, 2012
Los Angeles is seeing a rush of British-style gastropubs, reports the Los Angeles Times—though the city might not quite have grasped the formula yet.
“In 2012 Los Angeles… it is occasionally difficult to find a new restaurant that isn’t a gastropub, where there are at least half a dozen beers bitter enough to choke a Bud Lite aficionado,” writes Jonathan Gold in a review of The Pikey on Sunset Boulevard. But he also points out that LA’s idea of a gastropub differs from Britain’s. “In London, a gastropub is recognizably a pub… here, gastropubs, interchangeable with tapas bars, izakayas pojangmachas and mezcalerias, are generally not pubs in the traditional sense.”
The Pikey, though, is a proper pub, with chef Ralph Johnson hailing from the original New York gastropub the Spotted Pig. “As at most London gastropubs, the thing here is pub food constructed from the produce of the farmers market rather than purchased by the freezer full”. Well-received dishes include fish and chips, pig’s ear and lamb shank, though some, like the cheeseburger and flatiron steak, miss the mark.
“The Pikey is the real deal,” concludes Gold—though while LA pubs and gastropubs have some things in common with our own versions, they seem rather different concepts.
For the full story, see Counter Intelligence: The Pikey, simply a pub with better food.