Gorgeous design, talented chefs, and an approachable array of New American dishes
Despite the daunting nature of trying to rehabilitation and remodel an entire historic building in Los Angeles, Dustin Lancaster (Bar Covell) and partner Tyler Stonebreaker have done just that with the new Arts District Firehouse Hotel, opening Monday, April 15. Part of a nine room boutique hotel, with most of the rooms situated on the second floor where firemen used to reside, the restaurant portion will take over the ground floor and a significant patio space of the 1927 fire station.
Decommissioned in 1980 after many decades of use, Firehouse boasts a modern urban design from Sally Breer and ETC.etera, which also worked on Lancaster’s Hotel Covell and Chinatown French bistro Oriel. For the 100 seat restaurant, chef Ashley Abodeely, formerly of NoMad LA and Eleven Madison Park in NYC, oversees the menu while longtime Westside chef Rose Lawrence (formerly of Red Bread) handles desserts.
The New American menu will employ seasonal ingredients with robust flavors, leaning heavily on a wood-burning grill. Roasted garlic butter comes ready to slather on plush Parker House rolls while a little gem salad offers the nutty crunch of almond and the freshness of sugar snap peas to counter salty grilled halloumi. Manila clams swim in a smoked bacon broth tinted with fermented garlic, while a hefty burger comes topped with smoked onions, cheddar, and spicy mayo.
Bigger courses include a lamb loin with charred eggplant puree, and a grilled branzino with brushed with sesame and garlic. The requisite steak comes alongside asparagus, Hasselback fingerling potatoes, and whipped Dijon butter. In all, crowd-pleasing dishes that should work well with the mostly outdoor dining space. On the dessert side, highlights include charred lemon cake, ricotta cheesecake with white chocolate and pistachio, and a saffron-scented chocolate semifreddo.
It’s clear that Lancaster and company have made it a point to celebrate local designers and producers, with Hedley and Bennett owner Ellen Bennett on as an investor and creative partner to design the staff’s uniforms, shirts, and aprons. Local handbag and luxury goods designer Clare Vivier also assembles the hotel’s items like robes, totes, and toiletry cases while ceramicist Robert Siegel makes many of the restaurant’s dishware and coffee cups.
Expect all day service from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (11 p.m. on weekends) beginning April 15 in the restaurant, plus pastries and more at the lobby coffee bar beginning at 7 a.m. Reservations available on Resy.
The Restaurant at Arts District Firehouse Hotel. 710 S. Santa Fe Avenue. Los Angeles, CA. 213-947-3010.
“Downtown LA’s Next Big Restaurant Opens in This Historic Fire Station in Arts District.” Eater LA – All. https://la.eater.com/2019/4/9/18303027/firehouse-arts-district-hotel-los-angeles-restaurant-new-american-food-photos-menu.