ISSUE 99  |  Crowd Control

Cooking with Heart at the Hart and the Hunter

November 19, 2013 8:00 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

Tucked inside of Palihotel on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles is a new restaurant from Brian Dunsmoor and Kris Tominaga, who first made their mark with pop-up canteen A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. The two entrepreneurial chefs clearly share an affinity for Aesop’s fables: their latest venture gets its name from “The Hart and the Hunter”. In the tale, the hart spends his time admiring his antlers and loathing his too-slim legs. When the hunter’s arrow causes the hart to snag his antlers on a branch, the hart says, “Alas! alas! We often despise what is most useful to us.” The significance of the fable has a secret meaning to the owners, but our guess is it’s a reminder to stay humble in the midst of increasing acclaim, and to cook what they know best: California fare tinged with more than a hint of the south. Have a look around. 

Photography by Dylan James Ho from Eat, Drink + Be Merry (unless otherwise noted).

Above: With its green and white octagonal floor tiles and family-style table, the restaurant has the vibe of a small southern kitchen smack in the middle of LA. Photograph courtesy of Palihotel. To see more of the hotel, visit our post Where the Brits Are: Palihotel in LA

Above: Seen throughout the restaurant are a collection of vintage portraits, ranging from dapper gentlemen to forest fauna.

Above L: Palihotel aprons hang against the restaurant’s glazed tiled wall (for something similar, consider Waterworks’ Grove Brickworks Tiles in Hull). Above R: Lemon squares and iced cookies on the bar. Both photographs courtesy of Palihotel.

Above: Visitors from another era–the gentleman’s eyes match the blue on the wall.

Above: Cool blue is a theme throughout. The bar is the hub for the restaurant’s coffee program, headed up by Christopher Abel Alameda, a barista from Handsome Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea (LA’s two main drip coffee haunts). Photograph courtesy of Palihotel.

Above: A portrait of a hart, an homage to the restaurant’s namesake. 

Above: White-painted Tolix metal chairs are fitted with custom wooden seats, and the Hart and Hunter staff aren’t afraid to add a folding chair to the mix. Photograph courtesy of Palihotel.

Above L: Smoked trout toast. Above R: A warm steak bowl with roasted cauliflower and green accompaniments. For more on the food, visit Eat, Drink + Be Merry.

Above: An equine portrait hangs over the dining room’s old-fashioned sideboard and window into the kitchen. Book a reservation at The Hart and the Hunter 

Check out our recent post on the Palihotel’s sister property, Palihouse in Santa Monica. For more of the city’s standout restaurants, hotels, and shops, visit our Los Angeles Area City Guide

Location of The Hart and the Hunter in Los Angeles: