Son of a Gun

7/2/11My friend Paul is one of my favorite dining companions. Like yours truly, he’s knowledgeable about food (at least we think and talk like we are) and isn’t afraid to try everything. Too bad he moved back up to the bay area last year. But every time he visits L.A., I make sure to make it count by planning a nice dinner or two. We only had enough time for one meal though this time. But luckily, both of us were adamant on going to Son of a Gun, so that was the obvious choice. Everyone knows what a fan of Animal I am, and I made him a believer earlier this year. Therefore, both of us were really looking forward to the seafood version Animal. We brought along Ben, Daniel and Linh-Nam, hoping to expand our group dining horizons. I had high hopes and expectations, and hyped it up quite a bit for the guys.


PhotoBest table of the house – but very hot under the sunlight.

Ginger BeerGinger beer ($6)

Today's Oysters on the Half ShellToday’s Oysters on the Half Shell, Condiments ($3 each)

We got a dozen of these. They were served with cocktail and mignonette sauces, horseradish, and lemon. Nice and fresh. Great start to the meal.

Lobster RollLobster Roll, Celery, Lemon Aioli ($7 each)

OMG this was awesome! The lobster filling was creamy deliciousness and went well with the bun, and the mini chips provided a nice contrast with the crunch. But beware – this is small (probably 2-3 bites). Should’ve ordered two each per person MINIMUM. My favorite dish of the night.

Hiramasa PokeHiramasa Poke, Yuzu, Orange, White Nectarine, Serrano ($16)

Besides the obvious choices for the table that we’ve heard/read so much about (lobster roll, shrimp toast and fried chicken sandwiches), each of the guys chose a dish they really wanted to try. Ben chose the poke, he said, “because I’ve had poke in Hawaii hehehe.” Stupid reasoning aside, the hiramasa (type of yellowtail) was of good quality. However, this dish tasted like a fruit salad more than anything else. The citrus was a little too overpowering in my opinion.

Shrimp Toast SandwichShrimp Toast Sandwich, Herbs, Sriracha Mayo ($11)

We ordered two of these (and three of the fried chicken – should’ve flipped that). They were really good. Too bad I couldn’t remember too much about it – I only had about a quarter of one “sandwich.” But it’s a must-order on the next visit.

BrandadeBrandade, Soft Egg, Arugula, Grainy Mustard ($13)

I think I liked this a lot more than the rest of the group. Eating it gave me a very homey feeling. I guess this is how French people in the country feel. Meanwhile, us Americans feel like shit from eating fast food.

Ling CodLing Cod, Pho Fumet, Herbs, Lime, Bok Choy ($15)

With 2.5 Viets in our group, we were ready to talk shit about this so-called pho that was obviously Paul’s choice to order. I told Paul that I imagined him crashing the kitchen and calling everyone assholes for insulting Vietnamese food. But this was not bad. The broth was refreshing and spicy at the same time. However, the proportions of the ingredients made it feel more like an herbs dish more than a cod or pho one. Plus I didn’t get the onion strings.

MusselsMussels, Tarragon, Pernod, Fennel, Toast ($13)

This was Daniel’s choice. It was a good call. The pre-shelled mussels were meaty, and you can really taste the Pernod in the sauce. I made sure to scoop up every last drop with the toast.

Peel & Eat Shrimp BoilPeel & Eat Shrimp Boil, Lime Mustard Sauce ($19 half pound)

The shrimp was a mouthful of Old Bay flavors, which always goes well with shrimp and crab. No need for the sauce at all. I’d take this over the shrimp from places like The Boiling Crab any day.

Niman Ranch HangerNiman Ranch Hanger, Fried Oysters, Bearnaise, Fries ($25)

This was Linh-Nam’s choice. The hanger steak was cooked medium-rare and tasted good, although I just had CUT the night before, so those steaks were still on my mind. I remember the fried oysters and bearnaise much more – they were delicious. The fries, while being pretty good as well, were a little excessive. We couldn’t finish them.

PhotoOnly thing we didn’t finish.

Fried Chicken SandwichFried Chicken Sandwich, Spicy B&B Pickle Slaw, Rooster Aioli ($11)

This was one of the must-order items (the others being the lobster roll and shrimp toast sandwich) according to everything I’ve heard/read. We got three orders of these, and man they were huge (that’s what she said). Unfortunately, the fried chicken breast was a little too crispy and dry. It also had a little too much of the slaw, although the slaw was really good. Why did we get three of these again Paul? Like I said before, should’ve got three of the shrimp toast instead, or even multiple lobster rolls per person. Maybe I’ll get it again next time for a final verdict.

Frozen Lime YogurtFrozen Lime Yogurt, Graham Crumble, Toasted Meringue ($5)

We were really full, but dessert was necessary. This is basically a deconstructed key lime pie. Pretty good.

Nectarine & Berry PieNectarine & Berry Pie, Buttermilk Ice Cream ($8)

According to the service, this is their most popular dessert by far. Tasted like an awesome pie from an old-school diner.

Overall, I felt that our meal at Son of a Gun was really good. It’s hard to impress diners like Paul and myself, especially us being big fans of Animal, but the restaurant did a good job. Not all of the dishes were clear hits, however, and I still prefer Animal at the end of the day. But given time, I think that Son of a Gun can/will achieve the level of its older sibling. I will definitely be back. I need to take the guys to Animal before making my way back here though.

Chris Hei grade: B+


Son of a Gun
8370 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9033

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