Lemon Butter: Best of L.A.'s Theatre Adjacent Restaurants and Bars - February Edition


MoniqueLeBleu

MoniqueLeBleu

Event Editor, Registered Critic, Writer



Lemon Butter is a bi-weekly column featuring choice restaurants, lounges, Happy Hours, and other spots where hospitality is offered, that are convenient to theatre venues throughout Los Angeles. For distances and times given traffic and parking are not factored in. Where available, contact all hospitality venues for valet or parking information and/or reservations.


Café Gratitude

Walking distance to the Stephanie Feury Theatre,  Thymele Arts, and Studio/Stage Theatre is vegan restaurant Café Gratitude in Larchmont Village.

Their fresh, healthy menu includes salads like the "Fantastic", a Torta Española Chopped Salad with a chickpea frittata, roasted red pepper, escabeche, cashew mozzarella, sun-dried tomato pesto, and toasted almonds, an assortment of Bowls such as the "Humble," an Indian Curry Bowl with red lentil dal, spinach, roasted garnet yams, coconut mint chutney, spicy tomato jam, and brown rice or quinoa, or entrees like the "Elated," with Mole Abuelita Enchiladas made with mole tempeh, corn, black beans, roasted tomatillo sauce, cashew queso fresco, avocado, coleslaw, and escabeche.

Café Gratitude - 639 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004 - (323) 580-6383
Distance to Stephanie Feury Theatre  - 364 feet (1 min. walk.)
Distance to Studio/Stage Theatre- 1.1 miles via Melrose (3 min. drive)
Distance to Thymele Arts - 1.4 miles (3 min. drive)

KASS Restaurant + Wine Bar

Photo by Monique A. LeBleu - The Tortellini with ricotta cheese and green asparagus coulis at a Media Tasting, KASS Wine Bar + Restaurant, Los Angeles, California, January 29, 2019.

Debuting just this month and now open is KASS Wine Bar + Restaurant by Michelin starred Chef Christophe Émé.  KASS' 40-seat dining room and wine bar on La Brea is just off of Wilshire's Miracle Mile, close to Theatre Row, and conveniently close to the newly remodeled Lyric Theatre. A beautiful, intimate spot for quick bar bites featuring an assortment of French cheeses and charcuterie with a glass of wine before the show, a relaxing glass after on the patio, or an anytime leisurely lunch or dinner.

Émé, of Iron Chef America, serves a rotating menu based on market fresh produce with openers such as the salad of Baby Beets with black lentils and aged Comté cheese, a Farro Risotto with celery root, kale, and Morel mushrooms, or the grilled octopus with baby fennel, Yukon potato, and red bell pepper coulis. Some suggested entrees are a Farro Risotto with celery and morel mushrooms, Tagliatelle pasta with Braised organic Beeler pork ragù, Tortellini with ricotta cheese and green asparagus coulis,  a "Chicken Cooked in Clay" served with wild mushroom sauce and green asparagus, or an Oxtail Parmentier—a smooth-layed French cottage pie of potatoes, bone marrow and Burgundy truffles.  Some appetizers and openers, such as the Beet Salad, Ceviche or Kusshi oysters, and chilled desserts like the Chocolate Tart accompanied by chocolate sorbet, may be served on the restaurants unique and visually stunning chill plate—a water-filled concave envelope of glass.

Of their collection of wines—characterized as "Energetic," "Fruity," and "Muscular" for whites and "Bright," "Juicy," "Earthy," and "Plush" for reds—available by the glass are a "muscular" white Domaine Dupasquier, Roussette de Savoie, Savoie 2013,  a "pink" such as the Vinca Minor, Carignan Rosé Sonoma County 2017, a "Bright" red Domaine de Majas, VdP Côtes Catalanes Carignan Blend Roussillon 2017, or an "earthy" red 2016 Brovia, Dolcetto d'Alba 'Vignavillej.'

KASS Wine Bar + Restaurant - 320 S. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 - (323) 413-2299

Distance to  Lyric Theatre - 0.9 miles via La Brea (17 min. walk/2 min. drive)
Distance to Theatre Row - 2.9 miles via La Brea/Melrose (7 min. drive)

Norah/Le Fête

Nearest the Marilyn Monroe at Lee Strasberg  and a short jaunt from Theatre Row, Norah provides elegant fare such as fresh oysters, Cauliflower Croquettes, or Cast Iron Corn Bread, to start, with entrees such as the Uni Butter-poached Shrimp with smoked tomato, scallions, and cilantro on toast, a wood-grilled Whole Sea Bream with chermoula, shaved celery, grapes, and sumac, or an 8oz American Wagyu Zabuton served with crispy fingerlings and black garlic chili oil. Dishes for vegans and pasta lovers, such as the Pumpkin Cavatelli, with Brussels sprouts, miatake mushrooms, pomegranate and ricotta salata, Maltagliati with fresh tomato, summer squash, shelling beans and ricotta, or Black Truffle Potato Gnocchi with truffle conserva and shaved black truffles.

At its adjacent lounge bar of cozy candle-lit elegance, Le Fête bar director David Kupchinsky serves craft cocktails such as his "Le Daiq" of Rhum JM, Calvados, Genepy des Alpes, house triple lime cordial and lime, the "Le Spritz" of Lillet Rose, Cava, house rhubarb-sage gastrique and tonic or the "Le Frappe" of Rhum JM, housemade Matcha coconut cream, orange juice, pineapple juice, and Small Hands pineapple gum syrup over crushed ice.

Norah/Le Fête gallery photos by Monique A. LeBleu.

Norah/Le Fête - 8279 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90046 - (323) 450-4211

Distance to  Marilyn Monroe at Lee Strasberg - 0.4/0.7 miles via Santa Monica (8 min. walk/2 min. drive)
Distance to Theatre Row - 2.2 miles via Santa Monica (4 min. drive)

Spoonfed/Bar Joe

Spoonfed opened just last year in July and is adjacent to most Theatre Row venues, including The Hudson, The Blank Theatre, The Complex, Oh My Ribs! TheatreStudio C, and The Broadwater.

This new and cozy burger bistro has a spacious bar and generous patio area decorated with an updated post-modern feel. For breakfast, the spacious patio enclosed bistro-style restaurant features items such as the Blueberry & Orange Ginger Ale Cakes with orange crème fraîche, bourbon maple syrup, the Stuffed Brioche French toast with peanut butter, caramelized bananas, with seasonal berries and maple syrup, or the Mediterranean Hash with skillet-roasted sweet potatoes with pearled onions, chickpeas, Santa Barbara olives, oven-dried tomatoes, and Mediterranean Four Spice, topped with two poached eggs or without (Vegan option.) For lunch or dinner they offer the Spoonfed Burger with Gruyère & Blue Cheese, bacon balsamic caramelized onions, Heirloom tomato, pickles, butter lettuce, and aioli on a potato bun, served with crinkle cut fries and curry ketchup, the Eggplant Sandwich with grilled cold-smoked eggplant, broccoli sprouts, heirloom tomato, pickled red onions, lemon avocado mash, grilled whole grain bread, or the Fuhgettaboutit flatbread pizza with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato sauce, arugula, and shaved parmesan, just to name a few options.

Bar Joe features craft cocktails such as their "Draft Pimm's Cup" made with Pimm's, Chartreuse, ginger, and cucumber, a "Carajillo Collins" of Grey Goose Vodka, Liquor 43, and cold brew coffee, or their spicy "It's An Old Fashioned!" of Street Pumas Scotch, maple, cacao, and cayenne. Perfect for brunching before matinee performances are a range of white and pink sparkling wines, their "Bellini" of Ugni Blanc, peach cordial, and St. Germaine, their unique take on a "Mimosa" of Cremant, orange juice, and orange oil from their signature collection of artisian oils and essences—the latter of which are also featured in their generous list of Mocktails.

Spoonfed/Bar Joe gallery photos by Monique A. LeBleu.

Spoonfed/Bar Joe - 959 Seward St, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (corner of Seward and Romaine in Hollywood) - 9323) 347-7000

Distance to  The Hudson Theatres/Hudson Guild - 0.2 miles via Seward to Santa Monica (6 min. walk/ 1 min. drive)
Distance to The Blank Theatre, The Complex, Oh My Ribs! TheatreStudio C - 0.3 miles via Santa Monica (7 min. walk/1 min. drive)
Distance to The Broadwater - 0.5 miles via Santa Monica (10 min. walk/1 min. drive)

Wood & Vine

Walking distance from The Montaban and directly across from the Pantages is Wood & Vine, nestled at street level in the landmark Taft Building at one of the most famous corners in Hollywood. The restaurant has a direct and birdseye view of the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, designed with a loft view that also overlooks both the central dimly lit dining room and its spacious bar, as well as a lounge on the enclosed back patio with cozy seating around the central fire pit and conversation corner.

With plates for sharing, Chef Rick Sipovic's menu features openers such as a "Kale Caesar" with anchovy vinaigrette, shaved egg, Reggiano, and sourdough croutons, Chef Sipovic's own "Scotch Eggs" with pickled onion, beer mustard, and cornichon, or "Shrimp and Grits" with green chili cheddar grits, pan jus, and friese. For vegans, "Impossible Meatballs" served with spicy red sauce, plant-based spaghetti, and vegan mozzarella. And for dessert, "The Butterscotch" with house butterscotch, maple ice cream, and a sweet thyme crumble, Sour Cream Donut Holes dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with vanilla sauce, or a Peach Cobbler with smoked bourbon maple ice cream.

Craft cocktails are served throughout the space, such as the "Sage Advice” of Belvadere vodka, sage simple syrup, Campari, and grapefruit, "The Color Peach” with Hennesy, DiSarrono, Giffard Peche de Vigne, lemon, simple syrup and egg white, or "My Other Lover” with Mezcal, lime, simple syrup, peach bitters, sage and blueberries, or a Black Manhattan” of Larceny vodka, Amaro Averna, Angostura bitters, and black cherries.

Plates are shared family style and a 20% service charge is included in lieu of tip. The menu can evolve, so be sure to check with the restaurant for updates.

Wood & Vine gallery photos by Monique A. LeBleu.

Wood & Vine - 6280 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (at Vine Street at The Taft Building) - (323) 334-3360
Distance to  Pantages - 425 feet (across the street (2 min. walk)
Distance to The Montalban - 0.1 miles (3 min. walk)