The Stocking Frame has very quietly debuted in a pocket of Downtown LA that skirts the Historic Core, Fashion District and South Park. Co-owner Jerry Aschoff, who also opened Lola Gaspar in Santa Ana, is extremely proud of the space, as he should be: the building is an old 1917 textile factory that he took over several years ago, stripping it to its original brick walls, columns and frames, and rebuilding it into several different spaces. Currently serving dinner and Sunday brunch, the menu is very small for now, with more additions to come.
Instead of just using reclaimed wood, there's all sorts of lumber throughout - benches from Aschoff's old baseball dugout at Pepperdine; a one-piece curved long bar (45 feet or so curved, 60 if you stretched it straight) that was custom-built in the space; a stacked communal table made from Hawaiian wood that looks like two strips of bacon. There's seating in front of huge retractable doors with a little pine tree garden in the center, and patio seats outdoors for neighbors and their dogs. A separate area towards the back will become Steifelgeiss, named for a a restaurant/bar within a restaurant/bar, with its own menu, cocktail list and live music.
The menu is short and sweet for now, only about 15 items that include salads, charcuterie, hand-made pastas, and wood-fired pizzas topped with things like homemade ricotta and peppers or soppresatta and pineapple, depending on what he and the chefs come up with that day. As time rolls on, the menu will grow. There's a full bar with handcrafted, fresh-fruit cocktails but kept on the simple side, plus beers and a small wine list with mostly eclectic European selections. With the Ace Hotel virtually across the street, a new luxury residential building going up next door, and the Eastern Building and other lofts nearby, Aschoff couldn't have picked a better location. Take a look around below. The Stocking Frame is open Thursday through Tuesday (911 S. Hill St.; 213-488-0373).