The Gorbals

We were dubbed “the posse” by Jantastic, who by the way now has a weekly review on the food section of Neon Tommy. As part of her posse, we hit up The Gorbals, Ilan Hall‘s restaurant in Downtown.

We were able to sit at the kitchen counter. If you have the opportunity to do so, I recommend it as you can see Chef Hall get to work as well as have him and other members of the kitchen staff explain the dish. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

We started out with the bacon-wrapped matzo balls.  As un-kosher as dish may have been, it sounded better than it actually tasted.  Maybe it was the matzo, or maybe it was the bacon.  Something didn’t click here.  But that’s okay, because the BBQ sandwich was up next.

First the bread was grilled on the panini press.  Then the bread with a heapful of cheese was put into the oven where it turned into melted and toasted goodness.  Then comes the pulled pork mixed with some bbq sauce.  It’s a good sandwich.

The cow tongue confit.  Cow tongue… lengua… I love this stuff.  It was seared and had a nice char on the outside but the softness and tastiness was still there.  The cow tongue was money.

Next in line was the Mussels with Squid Ink Butter.  The mussels were good but the squid ink… I should have known better.  I’m not a fan of squid ink.  It’s too rich for me.  The Korean in me needs some well-fermented kimchi when eating squid ink.  Fortunately for me, the squid ink didn’t smother the mussels, so I could deal with this.  But imagine squid ink risotto… pass the kimchi please.  What was nice about this dish, however, was the fact that there were french fries on the bottom to soak up all that mussel juice.  Now that was good stuff.

Roasted Corn and Pimento Butter.  Okay, the presentation was a whole lot better but I took the picture after people dug in.  The corn?  How could anyone not like roasted corn?  How could anyone not like buttered roasted corn?  Good stuff.

Twice fried chicken with grilled watermelon.  Chef Hall tells us the chicken was brined for two days and then fried twice.  FRIED TWICE.  And if you thought that was great, he drizzled some honey on top of the chicken.  This was the most glorious fried chicken I have ever had.  The chicken was so nice and juicy.  The batter had such a nice crisp.  And we got some sweetness up in here.  Then with some watermelon on top of that?  I couldn’t have been more pleased with this dish.

I like the concept here.  There’s lots of sharing going around.  Some dishes were memorable and others weren’t as much.  But the memorable ones, boy were they great.  The next time I’m here, the approach to ordering would be totally different.  I’m taking that fried chicken for myself.  Ahaha.

The Gorbals
501 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: 213.488.3408

The Gorbals on Urbanspoon

El Tepeyac (Manny’s)

Known for their monstrosity of a thing that they call a burrito, El Tepeyac, or Manny’s, has been in business for 55 years.  Manny’s is more than a place that serves a huge burrito and it’s more than just a restaurant.  It’s an Eastside institution to say the least.  And Manny, may I dare say, is like the godfather of Boyle Heights.  He even has the raspy voice to go along with it.

I’ve yet to try their burritos but I do love coming here for breakfast and getting some Huevos con Chorizo!  My dad’s office is conveniently located in Monterey Park and that makes it all the better for me to get my fix.  But seriously, Huevos con Chorizo, what a nice way to start the morning.

El Tepeyac (Manny’s)
812 N Evergreen Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Phone: 323.268.1960

El Tepeyac Cafe on Urbanspoon

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