Sunny Spot, The Brig, A-Frame) and chef Jason Travi (Fraiche, Spago) debuted over the weekend, and anyone in and around Hollywood should be paying attention. Littlefork marks the return of Travi to the dining scene - he took time off for family, travel and consulting after leaving Culver City's Fraiche a couple years ago - and Reiss' first foray into Hollywood. We checked it out on night one - here's what you need to know.
1. It's only "hidden" if you don't know where you are. Just because the restaurant isn't on a main drag in Hollywood doesn't mean it's complicated to find. In fact, not being on Cahuenga or Hollywood or Sunset (a block from all three) should work in its favor - mainly allowing diners interested in great food and drink to find it, while those looking for trendy bar-hopping spots might just stay away, leaving more for the rest of us. This is a good one to keep in your pocket if you're headed to Amoeba, the Arclight or Hotel Cafe.
2. You don't actually get little forks at Littlefork. Well, maybe you do, especially if you get oysters on the half shell or mussels with Portuguese linguica. We didn't, but we still think the name works. You may, however, miss the little Littlefork sign on the door (look closely; it's red).
3. It's not really another East Coast-style seafood restaurant. Travi hails from Massachusetts, so he has a fondness for things like clam fritters (golden, puffy and delicious here) and chowder (some of the best we've had outside of New England). But he travels around the eastern seaboard and even goes up to Montreal, where he spent some time before cooking in LA. That means: poutine. He's dead-set on getting it right, from the amount of gravy to how many cheese curds should go on top of the golden fries. It might be a work in progress so far, but the smoked-meat gravy is incredible. Get every last drop. Oh, and pork rinds? Yes. You need them.
4. Where there's smoke... Smoked meats and seafood will be the new charcuterie for 2013, and Travi is on top of the trend. The smoked sturgeon was silky and not overly smoky, served with tiny little johnny cakes and crème fraîche. We also tried the smoked brisket, which comes on the plate like charcuterie. These are great options if you're only interested in a few small bites.
5. Maple equals New England. Another major hallmark of Travi's East Coast-leaning ways is maple in everything: maple eggs, maple ham, maple onion rings, maple desserts and maple in the cocktails. Those drinks, by the way, are top-notch. Try the gin and tonic or the Saskatchewan Summer (rye, cardamom, honey, fernet, forbidden bitters).