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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mohawk Bend

Mohawk Bend

Despite my proximity, I always feel like the neighborhoods of Los Feliz, Silverlake, and Echo Park are a bit too cool for me. My mostly H&M wardrobe seems tame in comparison to the boots, skinny jeans, and band t-shirts I see so many people wearing. However, there a ton of great restaurants in the area and new ones are opening seemingly every day. On a recent Friday, I was invited to sample the offerings at Mohawk Bend in Echo Park. An old movie theater turned restaurant/bar, this place caters to the eclectic crowd in the neighborhood. Tony Yanow of Tony Darts Away, LA Vegan Beer Festival, and soon to be open Golden Road Brewing has created a spot that can fulfill your cravings at any given moment. The menu is 60% vegan and there is no chicken or beef in the non-vegan options. It is entirely possible to have a satisfying dinner of fish, pork, duck, and vegan salads...vegan pizzas...not so much.

To get the night started off right, I ordered a Mischief by The Bruery. There is a small, well-crafted cocktail list, an extensive beer list, and a short (two options only) wine list. Mischief is my favorite beer of the moment.

Mischief by The Bruery

We were sent platters of flatbreads with assorted dips. In our case hummus, eggplant, and ricotta. They were all good, but I only had tiny bites of each knowing that a lot more food was about to be on the way.

Flatbread and Dips

In a group setting, it seems you are obligated to order calamari. This Monterrey squid is fried and paired with a jet black, squid ink aioli ($11). It's good and though the color of the aioli may be off-putting to some, it has a nice tang and pairs well with the light sweetness of the squid.

Monterrey Squid crisp rice coated, flash fried, with squid ink aioli

Spanish stuffed dates wrapped in bacon and stuffed with chorizo ($6) are a non vegan dream. Sweet dates and salty bacon are already great, but the smoky chorizo on the inside really puts these over the top.

Spanish Stuffed Dates bacon wrapped & chorizo stuffed

I usually don't like eggplant, but I really liked these eggplant rolls with serrano ham, smoked mozzarella, and basil. I think it had to do with the slightly sweet, salty, smoky combo that I just love so much.

Eggplant Rolls Serrano ham, smoked mozzarella & basil

We were soon greeted with pizzas. One vegan caprese and one non-vegan caprese (not pictured) (Both $11). Vegan cheese...well, I can't say I like it. It's kind of like cheese flavored marshmallow fluff.

Holy Trinity tomato sauce, basil, fresh mozzarella (NV) or vegan mozzarella.

The restaurant plays up to it's movie theater setting. The Abe Frohman pizza ($12) (named after Ferris Bueller's alter ego in a restaurant) is topped with cheese, sausage, and peppers.

Abe Froman house-made Italian sausage, peppers, fennel, mozzarella

The other non-vegan pizza we had was the Private Idaho ($12) with bacon, potatoes, caramelized onions, and creme fraiche. Though I still don't understand potatoes on pizza (carbs on top of carbs?), I quite enjoyed this. So much so, that I didn't get a picture.

We had more success with the vegetarian/vegan options with the salad. We made the JJ Kale non vegan by topping it with some feta, but you really can't go wrong with kale, lemon juice, tomatoes, and jicama. Crunchy and refreshing.

JJ Kale salad served raw OR warm seared with garlic & chili, balsamic vinaigrette, topped with julienned jicama.

Also refreshing was The Flash Gordon salad ($9) with little gem lettuce, citrus, dill dressing, pickled onions, and pine nuts.

The Flash Gordon flash-grilled Little Gem lettuce, citrus, avocado, dill dressing, pine nuts, ume pickled onions


One of the popular vegetarian main dish options is the squash and chips ($11). The seltzer batter is a little bland, but the yuzu ponzu more than makes up for it. I wanted to drink it (but I didn't)

Squash & Chips seltzer battered kabocha squash, potato slices, carrots & peppers, yuzu ponzu

My final course of the night (I had to leave early so I missed dessert) was the Dork Burger ($14). It's a freshly ground duck and pork burger with fennel, pickled onions, and apple. We all ordered it with the optional gruyere and fried duck egg. This is messy and hard to eat, but kind of fun. It's way too rich for one person and can easily be shared between two or three people.

Dork fresh ground duck and pork patty, aioli, house ketchup, fennel, pickled onions & apple on a house-made English muffin

I had a great time at Mohawk Bend. Service was a little spotty (they kept bringing us things meant for other tables) and I think it's really more of a drinks and appetizer place than somewhere to have a full blown dinner. The beer list alone and the fact that it is close by and cab friendly will definitely keep me coming back. The experience has me excited to check out the brewery opening next month.

*All food and drinks were comped. Opinions are my own

Mohawk Bend
2141 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 483-2337
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8 comments:

Erica said...

What a neat concept! I love ricotta with flat bread. And i am more than a little scared to try vegan cheese

Kristen said...

Those eggplant rolls, especially look good!

vanillasugarblog said...

echo park is too hip???? wha? ;-)

not a fan of vegan cheese either unless it's covered in hot sauce or deep fried. lol

Kelly said...

LMAO @ cheese-flavored marshmallow fluff. That is the best description for vegan cheese I've ever heard. I definitely agree that it leaves something to be desired. I want to like it, because I really want vegans to have some deliciously cheesy options too, but I always feel like it ends up being an imitation of the lowest common denominator of cheese.

I was sent some artisan style vegan cheeses last year and I really wanted them to change my mind, but honestly it was like eating nut-flavored playdough. Blechhhh.

Nancy said...

Esi,

I love reading your restaurant reviews!! Wish we had the variety of restaurants here in the OC that you do in LA (sigh). Now I definitely know who to go to for resto recommendations when I am up in LA!!!

The Wind Attack said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this place. It's high on my list of places to try. I need to check it out ASAP.

marla said...

Oh how much do I want that pizza for dinner. Looks like a great dinner!

Anna A. said...

I would be all over this place if I was down there... bacony-corizo dates and eggplants - gimme gimme!