Freddy Small’s went from being somewhere I’d driven past and never heard of to one of the most delicious places I’ve eaten in LA. When you walk in the door it feels like you’re walking into a dive where you would expect to see a huge bouncer waiting to see your ID, but instead you turn the corner and you’re in a dimly lit well designed bar/dining room with a view of an open kitchen, a board with specials, some booths, some high tops, and you know you’re going to have a good meal.
This plating was brilliant. It came out on a large wooden board, a mound of sauerkraut topped with a mound of corned beef, there were 4 hollow pieces of bread shaped similarly to bones on each corner, there was also a monstrous bone that had been split in half and loaded with delicious delightful marrow. The classic accoutrement were there, sweet pickles, yorkie pudding, stone ground mustard, and a dijon mustard. In two words this was luxuriously animalistic, the eater is encouraged to mix and match and make any combination they so choose with all the items on the plate. My favorite was a bite with bone marrow, stone ground mustard, kraut, and corned beef; everything melted like butter with a light crunch from the bread. Really a great plate of food
(no waffle picture. . . we ate it too fast!)
One of the best waffles I’ve ever tasted in my entire life, and I’ve eaten a lot of waffles in a lot of different countries. The mixture of bourbon maple syrup with bacon butter and grilled apples came together to create a mouthgasm. The smokiness, sweetness, saltiness, all dancing around after so much other delicious food, it really put the meal over the top and was a great finishing note. I am not a dessert person by any means, but I would order this waffle again and again
Fried Brussels Sprouts
These are seriously the best brussels sprouts any of us have ever had. This is very high praise because we all love brussels prouts, and we’ve all had them a bunch of different ways, but it’s really the simplicity of this that make them so good. They’re fried to perfection with crispy outter leaves and tender insides, and the apple cider glaze provides a sweetness that removes the bitterness of the sprouts without masking their flavor, but all of this is nothing without the smoked goat cheese, which is like nothing I’ve ever had before. It really blew me away and turn this from amazing brussels sprouts into the best brussels sprouts I’ve ever eaten.
Chicken Liver Mousse on Toast
I’ve been trying chicken liver everywhere I can get it because I think it’s delicious, and it seems to be the most commonly accepted type of offall by most Americans. They were a great way to start the meal, moderately crunchy bread, a smooth mousse of livers with a subtle caper berry marmalade, and well deserved crunchy garnish of frisee and radish.
Buffalo Deviled Eggs
These were interesting, I love deviled eggs and I didn’t read the menu before trying them as Adam had gotten them. I just tried a bite with no idea what I was getting into, but I really enjoyed the flavors of the buffalo sauce with the blue cheese tang. The blue cheese really made it something special, but I wanted the crispy chicken skin more prevalent(I always do though, you could put a mound of chicken skin in front of me and it’s not enough)
Flash-Grilled Steak Tartare
This is another dish that has won the best ever award. While I must say I haven’t had a ton of steak tartare in my life, I’ve definitely had enough to delineate between good and bad, and this was beyond the best good I’ve had. The tartare came out with crisps that we used to scoop up the tartare, but the first thing we did was crack the smoked egg yolk all over the tartare. The tartare itself had the perfect amount of beef flavor that came through with a beautiful pairing of baby cilantro(coriander sprigs), and, what we guessed was, meyer lemons that had a citric tartness, but also a sweetness. The egg yolk made it much richer, and melded the flavors together so they stayed on the palate. Great execution!
Mustard Glazed Arctic Char
Love, love, loved it. This was one of the last dishes we got, and it was PERFECTLY cooked. The skin was extremely crispy and crunchy, the meat itself was cooked just barely beyond rare and the flavor was incomparable. The pairing with the maitake mushrooms gave a contrasting earthiness that evoked the feelings of boldness provided by a surf and turf dish, while the celery root puree and sunchokes operated to provide balance. I’m going to dream of this fish tonight!
Carrots with Romanesco
I can’t remember the exact title of this dish, but it was very simply carrots with romanesco and quinoa. Everything was cooked perfectly and all the flavors were balanced, Adam put it best with, “Holy Sh%@ the carrots!” and I’ll leave it at that.
I started with this one as I had just gotten out of class and needed a delicious libation. I love bourbon, so this was my immediate choice. The balance of bourbon, bitters, honey, and yellow chartreuse gave it an almost digestif quality which made me want to sip and savor it, which I did!
Lark got this one, and I will say, it’s quite dangerous. It has both cognac and campari, as well as blanc vermouth, habanero, and grapefruit essence. The flavor was good, but the alcohol content was very strong. After one Lark was going from buzzed to drunk (mind you we’d been drinking before dinner too). Either way, it tasted good but the it had a fiery finish, both from the alcohol and habanero
I love tequila cocktails. It’s as simple as that, this is a pairing of most of my favorite latin flavors, tequila, chile, lime, radish, and peach. I’m glad I didn’t order this one first because I would’ve gotten nothing else!
This one won the best drink of the night for me, it had Scotch, lemon, cucumber, micro herbs, and cane sugar. It reminded me a bit of a refined take on a Pimm’s Cup. It has sweetness, earthiness, tartness, as well a light effervescence and a smooth scotch flavor.
Freddy Small’s was somewhere that I’d never heard of, and it was never even on my radar. I’d driven past it a couple times and passed it off as a regular bar, but it’s definitely more than that, with incredible food, great service, delicious cocktails, and a modest but inviting atmosphere that induces immediate comfort. Also! This is a final note, but an important one, a lot of people on Yelp were claiming there to be bad service at Freddy Small’s, but everything was perfect, our server, Melissa(I believe, I apologize if I got it wrong), was extremely nice, knowledgeable of the menu, and did everything she could to ensure we had a great time. There were only 2 servers on duty, and the other server was checking up on us also, overall I would give the service an A+. Towards the end of the meal Lark had ordered a glass of champagne and the one that came out was a little stale in the bubbles department, she told the server and the server didn’t say a word, she just took the glass and ran off to get a new one as fast as possible. Their excellent level of service was almost as important as the food in ensuring we had as great a time as we did!