photo credit: Lingua Franca
Lingua Franca is a casual American spot in Frogtown from the team that makes some of our favorite sandwiches in town, Wax Paper. The restaurant sits in an industrial A-frame building right on the LA river (you literally have to walk along the bike path to get there), and from the moment you walk through the door, the magnetic neighborhood-y energy washes over you. Solo diners cram the bar drinking natural wine and local beers, dates cozy up in tightly spaced banquette seating, and large groups of 30-somethings on the back patio get much needed time in with their friends before the babysitter calls. It’s definitely a scene—in that low-key, lets-talk-about-podcasts kind of way that the Eastside has perfected—but for as much fun as it is here, the food is still a work in progress. Save for a very good burger that comes served on an English muffin with pepper mayo and brown butter, none of the main entrees—like the oversalted pork collar or bland beef cheek ragu—are that memorable. Considering entrees are around $35, you might expect several more “wow” moments. We’ll definitely be back to hang out, but might wait to see how the menu shakes out before we recommend this spot for a full meal.
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