Travel

Hancock Park Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Odys + Penelope
127 S. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park
This relative newcomer focuses on Brazilian churrasco, i.e. grilled meat. Accordingly, the back of the restaurant is outfitted with a wood-fired grill that churns out some of LA's best steaks, done in a traditional South American style. The menu is noticeably concise, to accommodate frequent changes based on availability, which means that the appetizers take full advantage of California's rich produce with seasonal salads and inventive vegetable dishes. This is the second, and more formal restaurant, from nearby Sycamore Kitchen's Quinn and Karen Hatfield; since Karen's manning the oven, the desserts here are not to be skipped.
Café Gratitude
639 N. Larchmont Blvd., Hancock Park
Everything on the menu is an affirmation, so if you can stifle the giggles at names like "I Am Connected"—which is actually an amazing zucchini cilantro hummus—you'll find that the vegan food here is delicious, even for those who normally refuse to go meat- and dairy-free. There are picks for every sensibility, from coffee milkshakes (made with almond milk) to cashew-cheese-topped corn tacos to Indian curried lentils. There are three locations—Hancock Park, Venice, and the Arts District—and the Café Gratitude team just opened Gracias Madre, a Mexican iteration, in Hollywood.
République
624 S. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park
With long and star-studded resumés (Walter Manzke has worked at El Bulli, for one, while his wife, Margarita, worked at Melisse), nobody expected this ambitious duo’s newest LA venture to be anything less than extraordinary. Occupying the former home of Campanile (i.e., Charlie Chaplin’s film studio back in the ’20s), the focus here is on French-inflected staples, like duck confit, oysters, and tartes flambées. The uni toast is insane, the baguettes are absurd (Margarita is a pastry chef), and the space has been reworked beautifully: The heavy floor tiles and mahogany tables were all imported from The Philippines, where Margarita was born. (Should you ever find yourself in Manila, the Manzkes also have a small chain of successful cafés there called Wildflour.)
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