Although the ’80s clothing trend has come and gone, one such ’80s cultural aspect that is here, and to stay, is the neighborhood bar. While other neighborhood driven cities such as Chicago, Boston, New York, etc., have understood and perhaps celebrated the corner pub, Angelenos have been slow to the party, opting more for the “see and be seen” venues.
But that is changing! Even in Los Angeles real estate the old trend of being removed and living in the Hollywood Hills is now being drastically replaced with requests for living in the “flats”, or walking neighborhoods, so that homeowners can stroll to their favorite coffee shop, clothing store, and neighborhood bar. The reason: People are starving for community. Combine that with the current unwillingness, caused by the recession, to throw down a couple or more bills for dinner and you have the need for a new kind of meeting place.
Enter Rascal, south La Brea’s newest eatery. Although only one block south of Wilshire Boulevard, and blocks from the Los Angels County Museum of Art, you’ll feel like you are in New York City’s Chelsea or San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhoods. The value-driven menu offers salads, burgers, and sandwiches such as the bacon and egg, the sirloin with blue cheese and caramelized onions, and my personal favorite: the fish and chips, a deep-fried seasonal fish with dill tartar and chips right on the sandwich. And although the relaxed setting specializes in less formal pressed “bites,” otherwise known as heaven between bread, with craft beers and wines by the glass the proprietors are anything but just a couple of Sam and Dianes.
Owners Sandy and Rebecca Clark have run some of tinsel town’s toniest establishments. Rebecca managed the one and only Trumps Restaurant, of chef Michael Roberts fame. Sandy over saw the wine program for all the Chaya restaurants and was dubbed by the Los Angeles Times “as the Sherlock Homes of vineyards” for his ability to “nose” out quality wines at reasonable prices such as the Cotes de Provence rose, Saint Andre de Figuiere 2010 at $8 a glass or $28 a bottle or the Chilean carmenere, Araucano 2009 for $7 a glass. And while the couple is clearly pedigreed in the world of fine dining they chose to make their inaugural venture one closer to home, literally.
The couple, neighbors themselves, discovered the corner spot with its floor to ceiling glass entrance walls while out walking. After years of wanting to open up their own place they knew this was the space for Rascal. On the horizon: community functions such as fundraisers, guest bartender nights and art exhibits focusing on local artists. Los Angeles artists Ana Baranda and Dan McCleary are hanging curently. Why Rascal? “I want it to be a kind of homey extension of my living room, where friends can get together, get into a little mischief and have some fun,” said Rebecca.
Hmm, makes me think of the line what happens in … stays in …. But even with a little mischief Rascal will still love you in the morning, and at these prices, so will your wallet!
801 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
HOURS OF OPERATION: Seven days a week from 5 to 11 p.m.