Hatch Yakitori + Bar sits rather humbly on the ground level of The Bloc, an open-air shopping center in the heart of DTLA where patrons are on constant pursuit of the newest novelties in culinary achievement. Hatch delivers on all fronts, treating guests to meticulously fabricated dishes as innovative as they are beautiful, with other-worldly levels of flavor. It’s ‘so LA’ on so many levels, and somehow fits both young partygoers and nearby residents looking for a relaxing meal under one roof.
Hatch is certainly in good hands with Executive Chef and Owner Daniel Shemtob, who made his first national splash when he won the Food Network’s ‘The Great Food Truck Race’ and hasn’t looked back since. He’s joined by co-owners Akarad Tachavatcharapa and Nara Latip, whose collective marketing background birthed the restaurant’s tasteful layout.
At its core, Yakitori is a Japanese type of skewered chicken. Naturally, the foundation of Hatch’s menu is comprised of intricate compilations that somehow find themselves on a stick. Succulent pork belly and ahi tuna, herb-crusted lamb, and an oh-so-good chicken meatballs with an egg yolk and tare dip (you may not be accustomed to raw egg yolk, but will thank yourself for giving it a try) are some of the highlights, along with vegetarian favorites like brussels sprouts and corn grilled with lime butter.
Main plates further showcase Shemtob’s creativity and Hatch’s charcoal theme, like the signature and succulent black karaage (pronounced car-ah-gey)—two-day brined chicken fried in squid ink and served with black ranch dip. Or the aged ribeye and potatoes three ways, with wasabi mashed potatoes so fine that they may as well have passed through a coffee filter. A revolving list of house specials keep consistent with the team’s mastery of locking in flavor and presenting it beautifully, with scallop and king crab dishes that came out as works of art.
Somehow, Shemtob found a way to keep consistent through dessert as well. The simply fabulous grilled brownies topped with black sesame ice cream are an absolute must. Pair anything from the menu with a crafted cocktail—they all pack a punch—or beer or sake on draft.
Hatch Yakitori + Bar is located at 700 W 7th St Suite G600, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Open 5 – 10p Mon, 11:30a – 2:30p and 5 – 10p Tue – Thu, 11:30a – 2:30p and 5 – 11p Fri, 6 – 11 Sat and 6 – 10p Sun. Avg. Out-the-door price for 3 – 4 sticks, 1 plate, split dessert and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$90/person. For more information visit HatchyYakitori.com.
sixth + mill [yes, all lower case] is the latest addition to Factory Place Hospitality Group’s growing restaurant collection. Seeking to be the ‘casual’ alternative to neighboring sister eateries Factory Kitchen and BRERA Ristorante, sixth + mill unquestionably upholds group’s home-cooked Italian nature with a ‘very LA’ vibe. And of course, with a location on 6th Street, the place continues the group’s minimalist naming scheme.
Culinary Director Angelo Auriana, whose pastas are some of the best in the city, continues to showcase his prowess with a limited but well-executed menu. Red and white pizzas, a sprinkling of entrees, salads, small plates and—of course—pastas stay true to Italian nature with simple, rich, high-quality ingredients. Case in point with the coppia, a heavenly compilation of buttery ricotta, bold fennel sausage and arugula that melds together amidst a beautiful crown [read: perfectly-baked crust]. Or the fettuccine al funghi, where that homemade pasta with simply perfect texture meets fresh mushrooms and a light cream sauce for lavish decadence.
Portions aren’t overwhelming like you’d find in a true Italian trattoria, but enough to get by. All the better to have room for some tiramisu or indulgent zeppoline. And of course you can pair anything with a selection from the Italian wine list, as well as a handful of beers and a few craft cocktails.
sixth + mill’s claim as a casual spot may seem a bit far-fetched to some, with a price tag that’s digestible but by no means economical. A loud, but not unbearable, dining room brings out the casual element with large groups of 20, 30 and 40-somethings on a festive night out. And veterans of Factory Kitchen and BRERA Ristorante may either rejoice in ironic nostalgia or reactivate some PTSD with the thought of going back to this particular pocket of the industrial district, where glass shards line the streets from the seemingly endless auto break-ins. Probably a good idea to spring for the valet this time around.
sixth + mill pizzeria and bar is located at 1335 E. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021 . Open 11a – 11p Sun – Thu, 11a – midnight Fri/Sat. Out-the-door price for appetizer, entrée, split dessert and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$81/person. For more information call (213) 629 – 3000 or visit sixthandmill.com.
Farmer Boys has been serving up burgers, sandwiches, salads and breakfast since 1981, and nearly 40 years later have pulled the trigger on a new way to French fry. The 93-store chain recently launched ‘always crispy’ fries across all locations.
Not that there was anything wrong with Farmer Boys’ former fries, but the change has made for a pretty good upgrade. They snap when you bend them and have a great crunch, but remain perfectly golden with a good balance of rich and fluffy, and not too oily.
“As consumer eating habits change to where the majority of fries are consumed outside of restaurants, fries that stay crispy longer provide an obvious benefit,” said Larry Rusinko, Farmer Boys’ Chief Marketing Officer.
The new fries, as is the case with everything else on the menu at Farmer Boys, are made with farm fresh ingredients. And as predicted, they make an excellent fit with a classic farmer’s burger [double burger, cheese, bacon, avocado, 1000 island], a barn burner [burger, pepper jack, fried jalapeno slices], or anything else from the long list of specialties. Wash it down with a cookies ‘n’ cream shake and enjoy the nap you’ll need afterward. For more information, visit FarmerBoys.com.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.