Odys and Penelope

At this point in the game, we know what to look for when first entering a restaurant. The vibe, the scene, and what occasions it’s actually good for. Can we take our parents here? Or a hot date? Is it inappropriate to get drunk here with our roommate? And how many people at the bar do we want to sleep with? These details are crucial, both for us and for you. But one thing that generally doesn’t stick out? The smell.

Because as a general rule, every restaurant should smell good. If it doesn’t, double-check your vaccines and run. But walking into Odys and Penelope for the first time, good smells are taken to a whole other level. There you are staring at a two-story stack of wood, each piece slowly being fed into the gigantic ovens cooking up every piece of meat in the place. It’s a beautiful thing. Inhaling the wafts coming from Odys and Penelope’s open kitchen is like being tongue-kissed by Mother Earth herself. No doubt about it, this is the best smelling restaurant in Los Angeles.

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photo credit: Holly Liss

Of course, that means nothing if the food isn’t any good. But we’re here to tell you Odys and Penelope delivers on its smells. The menu reads pretty traditional - you’ve got your branzino, your tri-tip, and your pappardelle all within arms’ reach. And you want that. Who needs to be eating uni reduction next to a stack of chopped wood anyways? This is upscale American comfort food of the best variety.

And the overall vibe reflects that. Once our olfactory sense came back to Earth, we realized this is a place we would easily take our parents or a hot date. You probably don’t want to get hammered with your roommate here, but a couple glasses of wine with dinner is never a bad thing. Odys and Penelope is classy, but comfortable. It’s like walking into your childhood home, if you grew up in a retrofitted cow barn in the Rocky Mountains. We don’t know your life.

But we do know that Odys and Penelope is as solid a restaurant as you’ll find in LA. It’s comforting but elegant, with a menu that’s as accessible as it is excellent. And that smells like a winning recipe to us.

Food Rundown

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Creamy Cauliflower

Does it get more comfort-laden than this? The creamy cauliflower is excellent and the perfect way to start a meal here. It’s also quite large, assuring it’ll make it around the table at least once.

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Fried Wild Mushrooms

Delicious. Anyone who needs a refresh on how to deep-fry a vegetable, here’s your masterclass: Do what Odys and Penelope does.

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Oak grilled Branzino

The meaty fish is done as good as you would expect it to be at a place like Odys and Penelope. But our biggest takeaway might’ve been everything under the fish.

Slow grilled Tri-Tip

This is the probably the signature dish here, and it’s phenomenal. And also probably the main reason it smells like heaven’s doorstep here.

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McFarland Springs Trout

This was good, but we’d probably choose the branzino first.

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Chocolate Rye Pie

Save all of the room. The desserts at O+P are pretty much all secret weapons, but the chocolate pie situation is truly special.