Remember that backpacking trip you took through Europe when you were a college student? One day you’d be in London wolfing down fish ’n chips, the next you’d be having crepes in Paris and then paella in Spain.
Well, prepare to relive your glory days of sleeping in hostels and bathing in the Mediterranean courtesy of this European-style brasserie, whose menu is a hit list of favorite international dishes. Chef-owner Dion Rottman envisioned his new restaurant based on a childhood of travels through Europe with his French mother. Why can’t we all be that fabulous?
Rottman takes as his model those classic European rail station brasseries serving simple, inexpensive but delicious meals. Diners can note whimsical touches like a wooden trellis crisscrossing the ceiling like a railroad bridge, and a wall-mounted announcement board with the beers of the day noted in glowing letters—try a Chimay Blanche or whatever’s Belgian.
Alternatively, you could sip a train-themed cocktail like the Train Wreck with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Frangelico and Fever Tree Ginger to get you really nostalgic as you taste foreign yet familiar comfort foods like duck fat fries with malt vinegar aioli, line-caught Alaskan cod fish ’n chips with English pea puree and house-cut chips, juicy bangers and mash with creamy potatoes and jus, and daintier delights such as pan-roasted day boat scallops with smoked bacon jam and Spanish sherry gastrique.
For dessert, the beignets with a trio of dipping sauces—chocolate, dulce de leche and crème anglaise—are hot, fluffy and delicious. Resist the temptation to buy a plane ticket to Europe when you get home.
3rd Street Station, 8486 W. 3rd St., WeHo, (323) 782-8466; 3rdstreetstationla.com
food2know: Fish 'n Chips
England’s cuisine wasn’t always—shall we say—esteemed. But one thing you could always be sure of in Old Blighty: getting great fish ’n chips. Good thing you don’t have to venture so far to find satisfaction.
Library Ale House
The version of fish and chips at this Main Street Santa Monica favorite is a distinctly Californian take on the traditional British pub grub. Diners get a choice of cod or wild salmon beer battered and served with homemade tartar sauce. Who says you can’t improve upon perfection? 2911 Main St., Santa Monica, (310) 314-4855
It’s simple, it’s hot, but what else do you need? The fish and chips at this always-packed Melrose watering hole are lightly battered and fried, and come with traditional sides of malt vinegar and tartar dipping sauce. 7383 Melrose Ave., L.A., (323) 655-3331
Waterloo & City
Though he serves plenty of fancy foods at his Culver City gastropub, Chef Brendan Collins includes a few cheeky choices of his native English cuisine including his lusciously fried fish and chips served with housemade tartar sauce and tangy pickled onions. Thank goodness he moved to L.A.! 12517 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 391-4222