For a taste of LA fun, check out EP & LP. Cocktails on the roof give sweeping Los Angeles views, while the downstairs restaurant offers great Asian flavors in a lively setting.
It's been a little while since I've ventured out to West Hollywood for dinner, or even drinks. I used to live in the neighborhood and I could walk to many things. Now, it takes about the same amount of time to drive there from Santa Monica as it does to go downtown, so downtown usually wins. I had been reading so many good things about EP & LP that I decided it was time to break the West Hollywood restaurant seal.
I met a friend and we did it right by starting with cocktails on the rooftop of LP. Views of the Hollywood Hills and fashionable young people surround the big beautiful deck. You don't find much of that anymore - a large patio, that is. You see lots of pretty young kids everywhere. Sunday Brunch is served on the roof and you can also get late night bar food after 9pm like pork bao and tofu fries.
The cocktail menu is appropriately outfitted with interesting drinks like the Runnin' with the Devil. It's tequila, ancho liqueur, ginger, kaffir lime and cassis float, and it's dangerously delicious. There's also bubble tea cocktails with fruit flavored boba pearls and adult add-on's like gin and coconut water. There's beer, wine and a nice champagne list when the day calls for celebrating with some Dom.
The restaurant is on the 2nd floor and is equally buzzy. They have a bar where you can watch all the kitchen action. EP bills themselves as an Asian restaurant with no boundaries, so you'll see Thai flavors mixed with Chinese and Vietnamese ingredients. Those happen to be some of my favorite tastes, so I was excited to dive in.
Also exciting is that they have vegetarian and vegan options marked on the menu. You can find a lot of gluten free dishes. The raw menu has the whole line up from fresh oysters to pickled scallops, seaweed ceviche and a squid salad. The salad combined a smoky grilled east coast squid with green mango, jalapeno, cashews, cilantro and lime. It's a great combination of flavors.
"Check Yo Neck" had to be one of the ugliest dishes I've ever ordered. Wood grilled lamb neck looked like hockey pucks, but once deboned, thrown on lettuce leaves with cilantro, basil, mint and a punchy chili jam, it was delicious. I'm curious to try the Chiang Mai Larb next time that uses spiced salmon instead of the more traditional pork.
Usually vegetable curries have some soggy peppers and potatoes in them, but at EP & LP, they serve a whole, roasted cauliflower in the curry. It's crunchiness stood up to the spicy romanesco and is a good vegan option with tons of flavor.
Everything we ordered was $20 and under, which isn't bad for a hipster Hollywood hang with this level of quality ingredients. The portions were also a good size. Two of us were stuffed with these three dishes. We were bummed about that fact because we had wanted to try the dairy free coconut sorbet - always a nice way to end a fiery meal.
EP & LP may have me considering more frequent trip to West Hollywood for food and drinks.
EP & LP
603 N La Cienega, West Hollywood