Friday, May 3, 2013

Restaurant Review: Son of a Gun (Los Angeles)


Son of a Gun may be the hottest restaurant in LA right now. This meal was easily the best we had in the City of Angels. After a day spent at the LA County Museum of Art and a little shopping at the Grove we were ready for a nice dinner. After visiting several restaurant menus online, we decided Son of a Gun had the most interesting food and made the short car ride to Mid-City. We were seated immediately at their long communal dining table and poured over their menu, trying to narrow down which dishes we wanted to try.

Son of A Gun

I am not exaggerating when I say we could have easily eaten one of everything on their menu. It took us longer than usual to decide after lots of questions to the knowledgeable and super friendly waitress. We placed our order and soon our food started flying at us. This place was busy, but we never felt rushed and was amazed at how quickly everything arrived. First came our beverages. The house rum, Dolin Dry, St. Germain and Tiki bitters ($15) was a complete surprise and we had no idea it was going to be in a snowcone. A bit difficult to enjoy because we wanted to get to the liquor before it was diluted by the ice. The house fermented shandy was absolutely delicious ($8). Made from Anthem Cider, lemon and spiced yeast, it was an awesome take on a summery hefeweizen beer and we could envision ourselves drinking this all summer long.

Son of A Gun Beverages

Son of a Gun's menu is arranged into categories raw, shellfish, fish, meat, seasonal, snacks and dessert. If we had the stamina we would have selected something from each, but managed to have some restraint. The first dish to arrive was the uni, burrata, button mushrooms and yuzu ($19) from the raw menu. The burrata cheese watered down the uni a bit, which was disappointing, and as the waitress stated "you must really like the taste of uni", but that's the only complaint we had of the whole meal.

Uni, Burrata, Button Mushroom, yuzu

The dandelion greens, soy beans, spring peas and parmesan cheese ($11) dressed in light citrus was wonderfully bitter and refreshing. The greens were so fresh they had a snap to the mild bitterness. Perfectly dressed in light citrus right before serving ensured every leaf was coated and every bite a perfect punch of tart. We had to ensure we ate well on this trip and this salad was a great way to get our greens in.

Dandelion Greens, soy beans, spring peas and parmesan

We love chips and dip and Son of a Gun's specialty is their house fried potato chips and pimento cheese ($10). The chips were fantastic. We used each of these thick starchy goodness to scoop up the pimento cheese, which was creamier, or mayonnaisier, than other pimento cheese we've had, making for a perfect dip.

Pimento Cheese and potato chips

Octopus has quickly become one of our favorite seafood items. Low on environmental impact and mercury, and is easily adaptable to many dishes if cooked correctly. Son of a Gun's braised octopus salad, mirepois, chili ($16) was out of this world. Perfectly cooked, we knew the mirepoix was be a crisp and snappy edition to octopus, but we were surprised by the use of gorbanzo beans and we liked it.

Braised octopus salad, mirepoix, chili

The monkfish, pho fumet, herbs, lime and bok choy ($23) was our favorite dish of the night. We initially were drawn to the dish because of the monkfish, which is rare to find on most restaurant menus. When the dish arrived, we realized it was basically the Vietnamese Soup Pho with fish. Totally unique and completely delectable. The dense monkfish worked beautifully with the beefy pho broth. Hearty and light in the same bowl.

Monkfish, pho fumet, herbs, lime, bok choy

The group at the other end of the table ordered the Broadbent ham, honey butter and hush puppies. You couldn't necessarily smell this dish, but it looked so inviting and we hadn't had any pork in awhile, so it took all the restraint we had not to reach over and wrap a piece of ham around the fresh hush puppies and dip it into the honey butter. It just looked terrific and made us wish we were with a group of people so we could try more food and not be committed to finishing the whole plate.

Broadbent's country ham, honey butter, hush puppy

For dessert we had the Meyer lemon curd, chocolate pudding, ground pistachios and graham crumble. We were totally drawn to the idea of a Meyer lemon curd balancing out a rich chocolate pudding, but everything about this dish was rich with all the flavors full and bold. It was a bit too much for us after the delicate and simple flavors of the dinner, but we could see the appeal of this if you were just having dessert.

lemon curd, chocolate pudding, ground pistachios and graham crumble

We loved our dinner at Son of a Gun and we will be buying their cookbook, that is for sure. Innovative, unpretentious, simple, creative and delicious is the type of food we will travel all over the world for and Son of a Gun nailed it. We are already looking forward to our meal there the next time we're in LA.

The Bill

Son of a Gun
8370 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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