photo credit: Jakob Layman
Everson Royce Bar
Bar food has a tough gig. For all intents and purposes, as long as it’s cooked all the way through and soaks up that misguided Cuervo shot you just took, it did its job correctly. Now, we love above average bar food as much as the next person, but the reality is you aren’t rounding up the troops specifically to go eat it - it’s just nice to have some there when you need it. Except for Everson Royce Bar, which is serving bar food worth driving across the city for.
Located in a nondescript building on the southern edge of the Arts District, we’re still not really sure whether ERB is a bar with really good food or a restaurant with really incredible drinks. And frankly, it doesn’t matter. The space itself is broken into two distinct parts - the interior bar area and outdoor patio. The bar is dark, sexy, and usually pretty crowded. This is where you go if you just came in for a few drinks or prefer to be pressed up against your date as closely as possible. The back patio, on the other hand, is where things open up a bit. The massive space is one of our favorites downtown, with a great, casual energy ideal for anything from after work drinks to a midweek dinner with friends to all-out birthday throwdown. Some people here will just be drinking, some people will just be eating, but our recommendation is that you definitely be doing both.
The food portion of ERB’s menu is relatively small. There are only about twelve items total, but with everything from hamachi tostadas to hamburgers to steamed buns, they cover a lot of ground. And just about everything is good. In no world should a bar have hamachi that fresh or a shrimp “roll” that actually leaves you satisfied instead of wanting three more. Oh, and that hamburger? Put it on the list as one of the best in town. It’s simple and perfect - a common thread among most of ERB’s food. And then there are the drinks: fantastic cocktails (hello prickly pear margarita) and a better wine list than most fully-fledged restaurants in LA.
It’s rare to find a place these days that doesn’t really fit into any one category, and yet somehow does it all completely right. That place is Everson Royce Bar - the casual eating and drinking catch-all you need to be at right now.
We don’t take statements like “best burger in town” lightly. But we’re confident that this one is a contender. On paper (and even on the plate) it doesn’t look like much, but the flavor of this thing is on another level. Order this or die.
The idea of any shrimp roll on a hamburger bun admittedly sounds suspect, but it works here. Very, very well. The bun doesn’t overpower the shrimp and there are little potato chip things inside that give it a much-needed crunch.
This one isn’t the easiest to share, but it’s a must-order. It’s on the lighter side too which is nice, considering you’ve got at least two hamburgers in your future.
Not the best biscuits in LA, but they don’t have to be. Perfect to get on the table quickly when everyone sits down and is cranky because they’re hungry.
These are fine, but there are too many other great things on the menu you should be getting instead. Like maybe one more hamburger.
Barbecued Chicken Thighs
Not the gross, sauce-doused bar chicken you’re imagining. These guys are delicious and surprisingly light. Also, already de-boned for binge-eating needs.