Friday, August 16, 2019

The Most Unique Restaurant at Firehouse Hotel

It's difficult to find a place to live in Los Angeles. Shoot!'s even more difficult to find the right location for a business. It's all about the location when you're talking a restaurant.

That's why it was so fascinating to see when a group of entrepreneurs decided to open up a place in the heart of Art District near the packing district. A firehouse was being remodeled into a boutique hotel with a cute outdoor patio restaurant and a bar in where a fire engine used to park at.

Firehouse Hotel

Here's the weird part, a firehouse that was left vacant for nearly 3 decades from being used as an active firehouse got remodeled into a full service 9-rooms boutique hotel on the top level with a restaurant underneath the rooms. I never did reserved a room, but I always want to see what the rooms looks like as many pointed out the rooms are "Instagram worthy", while remains for a staycation for some.


That early evening was a weird event as we were a few doors down from Bestia, but wanted a nightcap and stopped by BonTemps to keep the evening going. Right next door was this firehouse that has their own valet. Curiously, we all wanted to see commotion as we all thought it was an event space that is being used for parties.

Private Room

Checking out the cool vibes of their patio seating for that intimate setting or their private dining room in the courtyard gave the place this elegant and very chic look. There were plenty of outdoor tables and a few indoor seatings next to the bar as it looked to accommodate about a good sized capacity of about 100 guests for dining.

Beef Carpaccio
Beef Carpaccio

With a few things in mind, some of us decided to come back to this restaurant to check out the New American dishes on the menu. We have heard the head chef was very distinguished and was from well known restaurants in New York and worked briefly in the much hyped Nomad Hotel in LA. The most exciting thing about our visit was to check out this reimagined decor of a restaurant from a former firehouse.

Grilled Branzino
Grilled Branzino

One of the more recommended dish we wanted to try based on the praises posted on various online sites was the Grilled Branzino that was highly mentioned. Love the dishes we had ordered, especially the grilled branzino. The interesting part we noticed was that there was a wood fired grill employed in the kitchen as you can get some of the aroma of the dishes. Some of the buttery dishes really stood out when it was off the grill and ready to be served to the diners.


Quite possibly, this boutique hotel can be used a stand in for a high fashion clothing store as the hotel lobby stationed in front of the restaurant and hotel check-in gave it that chic nuance look to the fashion dissonance.


There are a lot of things to like about FireHouse Hotel. It can be a classy night out on the town or a very nice date night atmosphere for suggested place for an unique dining experience.


For me, I still want to visit the hotel for that overnight staycation.

FireHouse Hotel
710 Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Friday, August 9, 2019

Finding The Right Comfort at Alta Adams

Southern Comfort Food has always fascinated me.

Not quite certain was I am thinking of the movie "My Cousin Vinny" in that I must go find grits. Somehow because of this craving after watching that movie, I wanted to see if there are grits to be found. Of course I found a place, but not what I originally had in mind.

front of the place

Alta, the original place in San Francisco was a popular group of American style casual restaurants that served some of the "creative" dishes of the locales with some inventive craft cocktails. There were a few outposts of those restaurants that mainly capitalized on the seafood in that region (Oakland & SF). 

Blacked Eyes Pea Fritters
Blacked Eye Pea Fritters

When they decided to open an Alta restaurant down in southern California, I was somewhat skeptical because of the fact it's more inland and away from the beach area cities. Then a curve ball was thrown in when they decided to have a more soul food based cuisines and hired one of the more accomplished Chef in Keith Corbin (worked in several Michellin's stars restaurants) to hone a more southern food type concept on the menu.

It was interesting that it opened towards the Baldwin Hills area, that is nearby to Culver City. With the swanky looking bar that served crafted cocktails, it fits the mantra of other Alta restaurants that are described. I noticed the restaurant also gather the locals who are looking for that cool night out on the town. With this kind of concept, it does need the support of the fan base who enjoyed this type of comfort food and was happy to see it can find the audience who are willing to travel.

Shrimps & Grits
Shrimps & Grits

When I decided to go get the Shrimp & Grits, I instantly was smitten by creamy and rich texture of this grinded cornmeal that turns out to a great dinner. When I was growing up I was thinking this would be perfect for breakfast (thinking of congee).

There is one dish that gets judged no mater what... the Fried Chicken.

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

When I was thinking of southern fried chicken, the Colonel ruined it for me with their extra crispy version. To my joy, the Alta's version is not heavily battered and the chicken skin was fried to taste like it should. The seasonings and spices were the key of essential ingredients of having the flavors of the chicken be enhanced.


Besides the cocktails, the other must ordered items were the Black Eyed Peas Fritters many have raved about. The cornbread was the one that I missed out on, but I was heavily influenced on must getting that Shrimps & Grits, that I totally forgot to order this.

This casual (but in a way classy) is perfect for a night out on the town. Love the chef's take on some of these classic comfort food. With so many options in this part of town for southern food, this was a delightful eye opener for me to come into this part of town (after being told it's revitalized to have more hip options).

After passing by a few dress windows, I saw a red-brownish suit. Classic Uncle Vinny suit

Alta Adams
5359 W Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016