10/23/2012 02:48:00 PM

Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Mess Hall's Smoky Corn Fritters

We slipped into Los Feliz newcomer Mess Hall for a quick snack, grabbing a seat at a communal table on the early side of the night. This, it turns out, is the best time to go because the place was packed by the time we left. Since it was a spontaneous stop in between a couple of parties, we decided to cobble together a meal of snacks: Oysters on the half shell, tart, vinegary pickled vegetables, roasted carrots, kale salad, all straightforwardly delicious. But the smoky corn fritters were so good we all fought over the last one. They're like hush puppies only 1000 times better, with whole corn kernels, a little smoke and a dynamite romesco dipping sauce. (PS: This photo is much better than the one we tried to take, and we really wanted to show these little puppies off.) The space has a subtle campground vibe - we particularly like the metal trays as wall art - but it's not kitschy, and there's a nice big patio. The cocktails were pretty tasty, too. If it keeps this up, we see more spontaneous visits in the future.

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