We’d been wanting to try the new West Hollywood Zinque for a long time. We had heard it was open and that they had a new oyster night—but we couldn’t quite get over to the place. Honestly, we couldn’t find it: it’s the type of place that is very discrete and seeks to blend in and be it’s own unique brand of casual and fine dining. Once you (Well, we.) find it, you will want to keep coming back: they’re somehow hit a bullseye that sews together Angeleno cafés with Parisian cafés. Zinque makes you feel like you are on vacation—and all you had to do was go to West Hollywood.
Highland Park has been an up and coming neighborhood for about as long as I can remember. I don’t know where or when this idea emerged. It could have been the changing of the guard, a migration from ethnic stronghold to artist hangout. It could have been the development of the area around Occidental College, the slow urban gentrification of a neighborhood steeped in its own tradition. It could be the cheap rent. But this community remains the hotbed for creativity. Which means there’s gotta be a great place to eat and drink.
You have probably heard of Blue Plate Oysterette. The seafood place is a Santa Monica staple and the kind of seafood place you hear about but never get a chance to go to as places like Son Of A Gun and Water Grill and Connie & Ted’s and Hungry Cat lure you to them: it’s a friendly standby you have to remember when wanting fish. The brand made a wise move to spread their take on the sea inland, arriving at West 3rd street as their new home. Can the Westside ocean charmer work here? Um, duh.
Vegan food is in. I mean, in Los Angeles vegan food has always been a thing. There is no doubt about that, hippies. What is remarkable—and what is making it “in”—is that there is a crop of new efforts to elevate the food discipline beyond being eating raw vegetables or fake meat that is actually jackfruit or seitan or tofu. There are people actually making culinarily interesting foods without meat or dairy, things that meat eaters may be fooled into enjoying. Mid-City’s Crossroads is doing it for New American and New Californian while West Hollywood’s Gracias Madre is doing it for Mexican. And? How is it? We haven’t been to Crossroads but we have been to Gracias Madre. It’s okay. It’s actually kind of good. This is coming from someone who slightly abhors veganism thanks to many, awful, Silver Lake vegan ex-boyfriends.
As of yesterday, Eagle Rock culinary destination and cult classic The Oinkster has arrived in Hollywood. The piggy Northeastern LA eatery’s mid-city move is a long time coming and a necessary expansion of the burger and pastrami place we all know and love. This means many things. Old school, affordable burgers are going mainstream. An otherwise quiet corridor of South Hollywood and North Larchmont is getting some love. A very far away foodie destination for some has been moved more central. These are all good things.
The biggest question: were the old school burger bros able to carry over the formula for classics with inventive twists over to a new location? Would something be lost in translation? Guys: they basically nailed the landing and the extension of the brand couldn’t have been done any other way. Pencil this in as a glowing addition just South of The Burger District…