“Happy new year, happy new restaurants!” is what we told ourselves when getting back to Los Angeles to discover that new Hollywood restaurant littlefork would be opening up on January 4. The concept is Atlantic Northeast seafood and homefoods that channel Boston wharf realness, according to their menu. With a crew of expats from A-Frame and located within a former Korean barbecue spot, our interest was piqued. We went here for dinner on January 5, had a pretty great time, but we want to reserve a proper “review” until they have a little more time being open since they fell into a few traps new LA restaurants fall into. Here’s why…
• The place looks great. With the woodgrain wall paper and muted blue walls and womblike Nordic rubber chairs, everything is very subtle and a lot like what we imagine a cute restaurant in Scandinavia to look like. This was impressive.
• The patio area looks super nice, too.
• The music played in the space was far too loud and far too off-brand. There was some loud Modest Mouse and some loud Daft Punk and some loud MGMT: it was a case of the nice feeling restaurant being raped by inappropriate music. Play some sweet, not-very-loud nineteen sixties pop or some 2000s era dream pop a la Jens Lekman, Beach House, El Perro Del Mar, etc. or–you know–jazz. Just soft jazz. I had such an issue with this.
• …because the music was so weird and borderline suburban house party this got us to wonder if they’ll be catering to the Hollywood people who give Hollywood a bad name. All the patrons there that night looked sophisticated and hip–but being within eyeshot from Papaya King–this could become a legitimate concern.
• The service was super, super, super weird. Second night open, yes, and you could tell that the servers were bored, stressed, and trying to navigate where their littlefork character was. Our water glasses were never not halfway empty, which was delightful but I suspect a side effect of empty dining room boredom. None of the servers seemed to have tried any of the food or drinks yet as literally every one of them said, “How is that? I haven’t gotten to try very many things yet.” or “Oooh: that’s the *one* thing I haven’t tasted yet!” whenever you ordered or received food. This made for not a lot of recommendations. There were some clearing issues, some very nice attitudes, and lots of opening night nerves. I have a feeling many of these things will go away once littlefork finds its groove.
• The hosts were very sweet. All in all, everyone’s attitude was beyond positive.
• The drinks seemed fine. We opted for a bottle of wine (which no one had tried, funny enough) since the cocktails seemed good but not great. Drinks like the “Georgetown Swizzle” confused while “Thai Town Mule” was almost ordered for funsies.
• The food was excellent. There were no complaints here! I won’t get into details but the Clam Chowder is heavenly high comfort and the Clam Cakes are a hoot to eat.
• The Snow Crab Legs come pre-cracked, with cool tools, but without hand wipes. A little thing but necessary when you get your hands dirty!
Those are our initial thoughts on littlefork. We know much of this is from New Guy Jitters and they will go away. I mean, seafood? A restaurant from Reiss Co? An interior that looks like more sophisticated Ikea? A soon-to-come brunch service? Yes, please. The space just needs a little time to evolve and establish itself. We’ll check in with them in February but, for now, poke around their website and Facebook page. Give them a try but know they are still working out some kinks.