The Hearth & Hound, the long-awaited first LA restaurant from chef April Bloomfield and restaurateur Ken Friedman, debuts tonight. The latest restaurant from the the duo behind New York hits the Spotted Pig, the Breslin, and others has been in the works for years — since Bloomfield and Friedman took over the space once home to LA institution Cat & Fiddle.
The location — a former Hollywood British pub with a courtyard — made sense for the team behind the gastropub that made burgers and fries destination fare back in 2004. But the Hearth & Hound isn’t exactly a West Coast version of the Spotted Pig. There won’t even be a burger on the menu.
In an interview on the Eater Upsell earlier this year, Friedman described his and Bloomfield’s plans to do something different with the space. “Our intention is to make an enchanted garden in the front of what was the Cat & Fiddle,” he said. “So even if we had committed to doing a British pub, it wouldn’t really feel that much like a British pub, and I think at this point April doesn’t want to do just British cuisine only.”
Instead, Bloomfield will focus on Mediterranean flavors at the Hearth & Hound. The menu will feature seasonal vegetables, fish, game meats, and whole animals cooked over an actual hearth in the center of the renovated dining room. And when it opens tonight, diners can expect items like a take on a Caesar salad with beets, walnuts, and goat cheese; pork with roasted quince; and hangar steak. Wine will also play a starring role. Eater Young Gun Maxfield Schnee collaborated with the Beastie Boys’ Mike D on the list.
The Hearth & Hound is the first LA restaurant, but second West Coast location for the hitmakers. Bloomfield and Friedman opened Tosca — another revamp of a locally beloved restaurant — in San Francisco in 2013. In 2014, they took over the adjacent strip club, the Lusty Lady, with plans to one day turn it into a bar.
But with the Hearth & Hound, Bloomfield and Friedman finally expand their bicoastal empire of buzzy restaurants, known for stellar food and celebrity clientele. It opens for dinner tonight in LA tonight, with breakfast, brunch, and lunch to follow.
• Inside The Hearth & Hound, the Warm and Wonderful Restaurant by April Bloomfield [ELA]
• April Bloomfield’s The Hearth & Hound Now Taking Reservations Starting December 8 [ELA]
• Sound the Alarm: April Bloomfield Is Definitely Opening Her First LA Restaurant [ELA]