Huckleberry

Photo Credit: Food GPS

I have a confession: unlike the majority of diners in LA, I was never too crazy about Rustic Canyon and Milo and Olive (but I love^3 Sweet Rose). I’ve had better meals since the initial ones I’ve written about, but not to the point where they made me want to write entire new posts. But I’ve never been too keen on making an effort to try Huckleberry, as my perception of the place was that it was the “weakest” of the Nathan/Loeb family of restaurants. I don’t wake up early enough for breakfast on weekends anyways.

But something changed. Huckleberry began a “Thursday Night Family Dinner” not too long ago, and I recently read some glowing reports of these dinners (although I believe they were all hosted). Sounded like the 3-4 course dinners you’d find at nearby Farmshop, but at a much more accessible price point ($30/person including tax at Huckleberry, as opposed to around $50 for Farmshop). I was definitely intrigued enough to put the restaurant back on my radar, and when I went on the website to check this week’s menu, I saw “FRIED CHICKEN.” Sold.

So I dragged Eugenia and Linh-Nam along this past Thursday, and headed westward bound for Huckleberry around 7pm. After a short wait, we were seated at a communal table. Not sure how the service is usually at the restaurant, but it was great at our dinner. Very quickly, we were met with an “amuse” of spiced nuts, followed shortly by a spinach salad with pears, pickled red onions, hazelnuts, and a light mustard vinaigrette. Solid x2 (same can be said about the dessert at the end), but we were anxiously waiting for the next course…

…which was the fried chicken, the pièce de résistance. Along with two pieces of chicken per person, there was also a small bacon biscuit for each of us, some maple butter, mashed potatoes, and green beans on the side. First of all, these pieces of chicken were HUGE. I used to be able to devour an eight-piece chicken dinner with ease, and I was barely able to finish my two pieces. The other two were barely able to eat one. And this is with a fried chicken that, despite being a bit heavy with the batter, was not greasy at all. I suspect the frying process involved baking? No matter – it was great.

And the sides? I’ll say this – I am clueless about local artisan farms, but one that I’ve heard of is Weiser Farms. And I also know that their produce comes at a premium. So this farm-to-table family dinner definitely justified the $30/person. And those mashed potatoes were good. Even better? The biscuits and the butter. I asked for some extra maple butter to take home along with our leftovers. We even got some pastries and cookies from the restaurant to take home – awesome. Overall, just a great dinner (and VERY filling). Completely changed my perception of the place.

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Spiced nuts

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Windrose Farm spinach salad, Comice pears, mustard vinaigrette

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Free range country fried chicken, Weiser Farms mashed potatoes, country gravy, sautéed green beans

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Whole wheat apple butter cake, Sweet Rose Creamery vanilla bean ice cream

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Chris Hei grade: B+

Huckleberry
1014 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-2311

Huckleberry on Urbanspoon

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