Saturday, March 19, 2011
We test-drive a new North Hollywood gastropub
As an occasional public service of this blog, we go out and research neighborhood hot spots so you won’t have to. Last night we visited the new-ish Federal Bar on Lankershim in
North Hollywood, and we can confidently report that it is safe for you to visit, too. This sort-of gastropub is a really welcome addition to the NoHo arts area and is just across from the train station.
Federal Bar has been elegantly carved out of an old brick bank building by the same folks who brought you the Knitting Factory. It has a quasi-Prohibition theme and it’s slightly more upscale than your average gastropub hang. There are two main rooms, each with its own long bar, plus an upstairs party room with its own bar and a stage. The place was pleasantly busy when we got there at 5:00 – hey, we’re old – but the restaurant and bars were packed when we left at 6:30. And if you’re single, or like beer, by all means just go for the lively bar scene.
The wait staff is stellar. Our lovely server, Ashley (pictured above; she should be
’s Next Top Model) could not have been more enthusiastic or knowledgeable about the menu and the drinks. She truly seemed to be on a mission to make sure we enjoyed ourselves. And gracious manager Carl gave us a complete tour of both upstairs and downstairs. America
The plan was for the three of us to have a drink and an appetizer. One finely-made cocktail turned into, uh, more, with beer chasers all around – there are over 20 beers on tap. And the appetizers turned into meals. The menu features several reasonably priced small plates, burgers and entrees. Since we ordered a lot, our final bill wasn’t particularly small. The food was good and I especially liked my friend’s fish and chips. My husband enjoyed his burger, too.