Places To Eat In Los Angeles: The Commissary, Koreatown
I’ve already shown you around The Line in Koreatown, the hotel I booked myself into for the last few days of my Los Angeles trip I took in the Spring, but what I left out of my hotel review were photos from The Commissary, the big greenhouse restaurant on the second floor terrace next to the pool where I had my last proper L.A. weekend brunch, and also ate breakfast every morning I stayed in the hotel.
I loved the eclectic feel of all the glasses, plates, cutlery and every different napkins wherever you sat down in the dining room each morning, little homely touches (well, my home anyway where most of my kitchen stuff does not match!) which I think is far better suited to the amazing greenhouse environment much better than matching service-ware would be, I think.
Sitting down to brunch by myself with the whole Sunday paper on my iPad the morning I arrived, I think my favourite thing on the menu was the perfectly spicy (though, I like them hot) Bottomless Bloody Mary I ordered the moment I sat down. They’re great value, too at $20. They cost $12 each, so you’ve already got value for money once you’re onto your second, which is what I usually manage to drink on a weekend sitting. For those of you who are not Bloody Mary people (I won’t pretend to understand you, but I know you’re out there!) Bottomless Mimosa’s are also $20 rather than $12 for one, and their house Bellini made with blood orange, Asian pear, or strawberry which cost $14 each can be made bottomless for $22.
As it was a Sunday, I’d not really had breakfast (I’d been too busy packing up the final few things out of the apartment I’d been renting) I’d decided to have a more brunch like item, so I opted for the Southern style Shrimp Po’boy. I loved the sauce and decided that a Po’boy (I’d never had one before) was my type of sandwich, but I found it a bit disappointing; not enough sharp flavours to cut through how greasy the whole thing was. It was generous on the fat and juicy shrimp though, but not a menu item I either finished or would recommend to order. Does anyone have any good Po’boy recommendations in London?
I enjoyed the seasonal fruit salad I went for after the sandwich a lot more. I loved the variety, especially the chunks of Asian pear which is a fruit I don’t really get enough of in the UK. Okay, so the peaches could have been a little riper before they were thrown in, but the whole salad was nicely dressed with an orange syrup, and this would make a great dish to order for a brunch table for everyone to dip in and out of as they enjoy their own dishes. And look at that lovely plate! Remind me why I could not steal it for my prop shelf?
For breakfast after I’d woken up in the hotel for the first time I had my favourite dish from the menu, something I’d recommend that any salmon fan should absolutely order, bypassing absolutely everything else. The smoked salmon plate includes a very generous portion of salmon, lemon wedges, chopped hard boiled egg, fried capers, lettuce, cream cheese and some chopped red onion. You have more than enough choices to go with a choice of cheesy jalapeño, wholemeal and plane toasted bagels, served with butter and yet more whipped cream cheese (something I recently discovered in America, and have absolutely fallen in love with.)
My beverage of choice each morning that was not a weekend boozing opportunity was my America favourite, plain, black, unsweetened iced tea. Now, while I know where in L.A. I can get my favourite iced tea (TART in West Hollywood for bottomless refills and Intelligentsia for some more independent brews to go) I can happily report that the iced tea at The Commissary is a good, solid brew with a choice between black and green. However, you’re out of luck if they’ve just emptied their jug and the next batch has not brewed you’ll be waiting a while for your tea. They did offer me green instead, but I wanted black!
Before I headed to the airport to fly home I headed down for a final breakfast, opting for a Los Angeles classic: a breakfast burrito with a side of salsa verde. I got them to hold the cheese as usual, but looking down the long table and seeing the avocado stuffed version someone had clearly had as a veggie option being eaten, I clearly should have asked for them to do that instead. I was not a fan of the overcooked steak in the burrito, and I did not think there was enough of the shining star of the dish, the smooth and punchy salsa.
On a final little note, I really love the finishing touch that comes with each bill at The Commissary. I think a little seed packet (I collected corn and cilantro/ coriander) business card is such a nice touch, that really puts a smile on your face at the end of the meal. That was something I loved from my trip, seeing the fun little touches I’d get with my bill at many of the different places I ate like a citrus at Salt Air and a digestif at Son of a Gun.
While I did have a mixed experience of the food at The Commissary overall, I would still recommend their lovely dining room as a great place to book in for a weekend brunch with a group of friends (maybe in Winter where you can still enjoy all the light in the greenhouse dining room?), but as long as you do your research first on the menu, and perhaps ask friends around for recommendations; you’ve got my hit and misses here.