When you are a critic (theater, film, food, art etc) you generally have to see movies and plays during the dinner hour. I am a big fan of post-show suppers, but unfortunately in this show-biz town the kitchens of most of the decent restos shut down around 10pm, right when the newest remake or wanna-be blockbuster is rolling the end credits.
What is a foodie to do?
I’ve discovered one place whose California/French-style kitchen is still serving dinner until 11pm, and it’s become my new fave.
Foundry on Melrose is Eric Greenspan’s hip and trendy joint and the food is fantastic. (Greenspan formerly ran the kitchens of Patina and Meson G.) It’s a little on the pricey side and the servings are moderate but nicely proportioned for supper dining. There’s a lovely and scene-y outdoor courtyard out back and, judging by the procession of large-breasted, teased-haired, mini-skirted babes tottering out back on their stripper heels, it’s obviously the place to be seen.
But I prefer to dine in the breezy, open-to-the-street main ‘lounge & bar’ area, and both times I’ve been seated in a cozy booth towards the back of the restaurant, opposite the industrious and friendly kitchen. In front of the bar there are jazz instruments & mics set up with a different line-up of musicians performing every night. Great food, good music and wine – perfect.
I’ve sampled their signature Foundry Tots ($5) – little balls of mashed potato perfectly deep fried until golden and piping hot, served in a miniature Staub cast iron pot (classy! practical!) These gourmet treats are served with a lavender mustard (it actually tastes purple – Prince would approve) and a mini serving of cheese fondue. Yum!
They do elegant salads, such as the old classic Salad of Roast Beets and Blue Cheese, with balsamic beet puree and raw beets. Pretty good. $9.00
I recently spotted a salad on their Market tasting menu and they let me have it a la carte. It was priced around $7.00 for the Tomato & Watermelon Salad with creamy burrata, basil and soy vinaigrette.
Chef Greenspan is very attentive and comes over to explain what’s special about each dish just after it’s served. I was pulling a confused face when I started on the Tomato & Watermelon Salad which Chef G picked up on right away, graciously explaining that the little crunchy green cubes were “pickled watermelon rind,” but he loses a couple of brownie points for jokingly adding, “Who doesn’t know what that tastes like?!”
The entrees haven’t grabbed me as much as the apps and snacks (late night dining, remember?) but they include Jidori Chicken “Viennoise”; Chicken Confit; John Dory; Mustard Glazed Brisket; Loup de Mer; Tea Poached Yellowtail; Roasted Salmon. Here prices range from around $18–$31, with the “Patio Season” Burger affordably priced at $12.
Fellow food blogger Pauline & I recently cruised in and were seated right away. We shared a main order of Roasted Hanger Steak served with fingerling potatoes, apples and blue cheese ($21) and it was perfectly cooked and served sliced. Excellent.
Oh, we even got two little amuse freebies, didn’t we Pauline? A tiny, buttery and flaky Southern biscuit served with honey-herb butter that at first I thought was chevre – LOL – as well as something else? Was it a Gazpacho shot?
Tots, plus a salad plus a shared main and a lovely glass of wine each came to around $70.00 between two, before tip. Not bad for a light yet satisfying meal for two gals out on the town following some disappointing comedy at the Groundlings, just down the street.
Their website lists several theme nights, so I’ll definitely be returning.
Someone needs to post in the comments what the desserts are like because I never have room.
Introducing Lunes Latinos:
Join us for Lunes Latinos with Latin inspired cocktails, Greenspan’s Gorditas (3 kinds / $3 each), and Latin Jazz in the lounge from 8:30-11:30pm every Monday!
Every Tuesday is Bluesy Tuesday:
Enjoy Chef Greenspan’s take on Southern food – fried chicken (priced by the piece) and waffles ($4); sides of creamed corn, grits and greens ($5); Green Tomatoes ($5); Corn bread pudding ($7) while grooving to the blues.
8-10pm in the lounge every Tuesday.
Thursdays is Live Jazz and Absinthe from ‘Le Tourment Vert’ – 9.30pm–1pm. Late night menu available.
Suds, Songs and Sammies Sundays:
Join us every Sunday for $2 Featured Beers when you buy a signature sandwich and enjoy Singer Songwriters in the lounge from 8:30-11:00pm
Every Sunday we offer 3 tasting menus to choose from. They are 2, 3, and 4 courses at $29, $39, and $49 respectively. We also serve our Lounge Menu a la carte. The menu changes every Sunday, so please call the restaurant the day of to find out what it is.
Sundays open at 5:30pm
Mon–Sat open at 6:00pm
Foundry on Melrose
7465 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Review by Pauline Adamek