O Hei there Will!
Paul and Will were in LA during the Thanksgiving long weekend, and the three of us decided to go to A-Frame on the day after Thanksgiving, along with Danno, Eugenia and Linh-Nam. It’s nice to go with a bigger group of diners, because I went with just Ben last time, and I wasn’t able to try too many things. But the dishes that we ordered were very good, and I looked forward to see what else the restaurant could do.
Heirloom Pickles ($8) – with creamy dip and extra virgin olive oil
A pleasant surprise. The apples worked very well in particular.
Kitchen Fries ($8) – wedges of purple Okinawan potato, yam, and Korean sweet potato with kimchi sour cream and sea salt
Repeat from first visit. Looks like shit, but tasted great. The kimchi sour cream was a great complement.
Sesame Leaf Wrapped Shrimp Tempura ($11) – with fresh cucumber, herbs and shoyu dipping sauce
Another pleasant surprise. What A-Frame does really well is elevate these seemingly plain dishes and take it to another dimension.
Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop ($21) – with fresh citrus, pickled scallion, and polenta cakes
Looked rather unspectacular, but the pork chop was perfectly cooked.
Knuckle Sandwich ($12) – braised bowl of oxtail, tendons, knuckles and other forgotten pieces served with soy chili dipping sauce, and toasted bread
I really wanted to try this during the first visit, and I’m glad we got it this time around. The “forgotten pieces” were well-cooked, and went great with the soy chili sauce.
Charred Baby Octopus ($14) – with carrot kochujang puree, bok choy, pickled vegetables and nori seaweed
This is basically nakji bokum, a traditional Korean dish. Tasted pretty authentic, but I wasn’t thrilled by this.
Cracklin Beer Can Chicken (half $11) – with kimchi, century egg, salsa roja and verde
Another repeat from the first visit. Reaffirmed my opinions of this being one of the best chicken dishes I’ve had in recent years.
Banana Bacon Cream Pie ($7) – vanilla cream, caramel bananas, and bacon brittle
With Eugenia present, we decided to order all of the desserts. This cream pie was pretty damn good.
Thick Ass Ice Cream Sandwich ($6) – black pepper szechuan ice cream and salted chocolate cookie
They had two kinds of ice cream sandwiches. I preferred this one, where the hint of pepper worked well with the salted cookie.
Thick Ass Ice Cream Sandwich ($6) – smoked porter ice cream and chocolate chip cherry cookie
This was was decent, but I thought that the smoky flavor was a little too overpowering.
Pear Shortcake ($8) – with Riesling roasted pears, pecan oat crumble whipped cream and warm gingerbread biscuit
I didn’t really care for this one. Pretty straightforward.
Chu-Don’t-Know-Mang ($7) – pound cake cinnamon churros, with malted chocolate milk and vanilla ice cream
We had this one last time, and for some reason I thought that the churros were much better the second time around. I really wish I could eat a big cup of the milk and ice cream.
This dinner was actually a little better than my first one here. After a great experience this time, A-Frame has become my go-to place to take friends when they don’t want to spend too much money on a well-executed meal that isn’t too pretentious. None of the dishes really blows my mind, but for what the dishes are – simple, Asian-inspired American food – I think that they are very well-executed. Simple and comforting.
Chris Hei grade: B+
12565 Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066