Sunday, November 11, 2012

Where to Eat: Fried Brussels Sprouts @ Freddy Smalls Bar

The Eats: Fried Brussels Sprouts!!! … and other eclectic options

The Vibes: Gastropub, bar scene; always chill, although it can get crazy packed some nights

Good for: When you’re up for taking a trip on the culinary wild side

When-to-Go: Open 6pm-2am; also a 5:30-7pm Monday-Thursday happy hour

The $ Factor: Standard LA prices; Cocktails average $10, meals averages $15-$25

The 4-1-1:
Parking is kind of a pain; sparse street parking scattered along side streets and Pico Blvd.

I’ll Be Back…: For those Brussels Sprouts and the Cheeseboard

I don’t know about you, but I love me some hip-hop.

And no, I don't mean Lil Wayne (commercial rap) or J. Cole (rap), although they're cool too, but I mean real hip-hop: The Pharcyde, The Roots, Blackstar, Outkast, old school Common…Rza, Zion I, Dead Prez, Digable Planets...

That’s why last year when I heard about a new bar opening up that strictly plays hip-hop, my heart did a little leap of joy. I could get my eat and drink on and hear “I Used to Love H.E.R.” blasting from the speakers? Brilliant!

But while the music might have initially drawn me into this gastropub, one thing in particular has kept me coming back to Freddy Smalls: the Fried Brussels Sprouts.

I know what you’re thinking: what? Brussels Sprouts? Word? For real?

Yes, for real

As you might have noticed, Brussels Sprouts have been making a big debut this season, and I’m not talking about grandma’s soggy, overcooked, boiled Brussels Sprouts. Nowadays, this vegetable is being pan-fried, sautéed, roasted, thrown in with cheese, nuts, sauces and more.

But in all fairness, Freddy Smalls was one of the first restaurants I saw taking Brussels Sprouts to a new level by featuring them on the menu last year, and Smalls continues to remain a top contender in the game. Tossed with smoked goat cheese and an apple cider glaze, these bad boys are light and crunchy, slightly sweet with earthy undertones. I’ve never had anything like them before, and they are really worth getting at least two orders.

Aside from this dish, Smalls offers some pretty avant-garde options that I haven’t seen anywhere else. There’s the Buffalo Deviled Eggs with hot sauce and chicken skin…and then the open faced smoked trout club (pictured below), which includes smoked trout on top of a bed of crushed avocado, garnished with tomato and basil.

Even the smoked fingerling potatoes (pictured below) have somehow been turned from standard to unconventional, with a tangy dipping sauce made with the fiery espelette pepper.

Probably one of the most "normal" items I've seen on the menu is the cheeseboard (pictured below), which is actually one of my favorites - after the Brussels Sprouts, of course - as well. Aside from a variety of types of cheeses ranging from soft to firm, bold to subdued, the board features great breads, spreads and fruits.


So the next time you’re in the mood to listen to some classic hip-hop and to get your five servings of veggies along with a few different kinds of unique dishes, I say head to Freddy Smalls. It's a great atmosphere, great food and of course, great music. See you there soon!

For more information:
Freddy Smalls, Facebook, @FreddySmallsBar 

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