Many of you have written to ask about recommendations when travelling. For a while now we’ve been thinking of a Smutty Travel section to the site. That will happen eventually. Until then, from time to time, we’ll post suggestions from different destinations. Keep sending your questions and I’ll try to get them covered as much as possible. For now, these articles will be filed to LifeStyle.
I just spent the better part of a month in LA and was bored of hitting up the same places over and over again. So I asked my friend Sara G from The Travel Presse. She told me to go to The Eveleigh. When I mention The Eveleigh to my friends in Los Angeles, almost all of them reply with “oh yeah, the Australian place?”
It’s run by Aussies. We also happened to have an Aussie server when we were there. He was great. Quick and honest with recommendations, knowledgeable about the wine list and happy to pace our meal the way we wanted it paced. This is becoming more and more important to me. I can be a slow eater. I can pick at my food forever. I also need to make several trips to pee and I don’t want to feel rushed in between all my trips to the bathroom and in between drinks and discussion.
Speaking of trips to the bathroom - it’s kind of a pain in the ass that there’s only one on the main floor. Two more stalls are offered downstairs but on your third visit to the loo, it gets to be kind of a trek. Maybe these details aren’t important to you, but poor facilities have deterred me from going back to a restaurant in the past. If you ask me, these things should be included in more travel guides.
The Eveleigh building is GORGEOUS. Like how you’d imagine you’d have a wedding in a barn with beautiful gas lamps lining each side of the structure, and sliding panels above that can be adjusted for weather. We were seated on one end of a long bench. It felt really comfortable and intimate. While the restaurant was busy, we didn’t have to shout to hear each other. My one very small complaint however is that it’s slightly too dark. I like to SEE my food. I have very specific, almost neurotic eating habits. Every bite is adjusted and arranged specifically in a certain order. A piece of steak must come before a mushroom with slides on the fork on top of it and that has to be topped with a deliberate amount of potato but only on the side of the fork facing out, never on the side of the fork facing in. That may be my own crazy but both my dinner companions also felt that a little more light would have been better.
If you’re a gin and tonic drinker, you have to go for a Hendricks and tonic when you’re there. Because they make their own tonic. From South African tree bark. Throw in a slice of cucumber, so goddamn good.
Here’s what we ordered:
The Crisp Squash Blossoms were excellent and not greasy and delicious and we could have used another plate.
The Burnt Beet & Burrata was lovely and fresh. Then again, I find you can almost never go wrong with burrata.
The Octopus was grilled and perfectly adequate but it didn’t make my eyes roll into the back of my head.
The Roasted Bone Marrow was bullsh-t. There’s barely any there, and what flavour there is is overpowered by the sauce. I was really disappointed.
They bounced back with the Pappardelle. It was AMAZING. This was my main. Was very pleased with my decision.
Mark ordered the Roasted Half Jidori Chicken. It was ok, I guess. But I’m never a fair judge of chicken. I hate chicken.
Audra’s Grilled Boulder Valley Hanger Steak however was impressive. She has allergy issues and can’t eat corn. So we asked about how it was fed. It’s grass until 40 days or something which apparently works for people with Audra’s specifications. And the resulting taste - awesome.
The Eveleigh is a nice crowd too. Not heavy on LA douchebags, a diverse age range, I didn’t feel it was pretentious, and the people around us were engaged with each other as opposed to focusing on whatever it was that was happening around them. Very little head swirling, although at the end of our meal, the girl next to us overheard us mentioning Leonardo DiCaprio and said she and her friend met him in Japan many years ago and they told him to f-ck off after he pretty much ordered them to blow him.
I liked it. You should go.
PS. Their website is so slow it makes me crazy.