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The Hart and the Hunter

On our way from Seattle to LA, we stopped at Pine State Biscuit in Portland and proclaimed ourselves to have eaten the best biscuits we have ever tasted. Well the biscuits at The Hart and the Hunter, a Southern-inspired restaurant at the Palihotel on Melrose, definitely give Pine State a run for their money. Who would have thought the best biscuits we have yet to try would come from the West Coast?

We went to an early dinner at The Hart and the Hunter one weekday, so the restaurant wasn’t crowded, and we had what was probably all around our favorite dinner to date in LA. The prices were really reasonable for the area (especially in comparison to some of the other restaurants we have eaten out here), the decor was nice, the atmosphere fun and inviting, and the quality of food was outstanding.

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We started out with the chicken cracklins, which are the epitome of fried greasy goodness— the chicken equivalent of pork rinds. They are a bit salty and definitely greasy, so the portion they gave was probably more suited to serve four people, but we still polished it all off. The cracklins were served with the most delicious hot and spicy vinegar that I think really made the appetizer. All of that being said, the cracklins were probably our least favorite dish of the evening. That’s always a good sign.

Next, the kale salad, the smoked trout avocado toast, and the biscuits came out. Let’s start with the melt-in-your mouth, buttery biscuits with the condiments. I’m not exactly sure how do describe the biscuit texture because they weren’t exactly flaky, but they were soft, fluffy, and could be enjoyed completely bare just as they were served, and your stomach would be thrilled. But to take the biscuits over the top, they were served with the most delicious whipped cinnamon honey butter, homemade pimento cheese, and fresh blackberries. Totally worth every calorie, and in my opinion the highlight of the meal. No wonder that’s what they are known for!

Dustin wasn’t completely sold on ordering the kale salad; however I convinced him to after telling him about all of the rave reviews on the Internet. I’ve learned kale can be prepared incredibly deliciously or pretty awfully. The Hart and the Hunter’s preparation is definitely on the delicious side. It comes with layers of peaches, pecans, sheep’s milk, and a walnut vinagrette. Definitely the way to eat your greens, although I had a slight issue with the ratio of green stuff to non-green stuff. There was still kale left on the plate when everything else had been consumed.

The smoked trout spread was great as well. The fish was nicely flavored (and the portion was good unlike Son of a Gun), served alongside boiled egg, pickled onions and capers, meant to all be piled on top of a deeply toasted crostini spread with a layer of avocado. All of the flavors just worked together in a sensational manner.

For dessert we ordered the lemon icebox pie, and we definitely got a large slice of pie! I don’t think I’ve ever had icebox pie, but it definitely reminded me of a lemon meringue pie with a different, more dense texture. The graham crust was great and the toasted topping was sensational. A very nice way to end the meal.

Without a doubt I can say we will be going back to The Hart and the Hunter and would definitely recommend it to everyone. And if you come visit us out here, we just might take you for a taste!

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