The fear of growing older is a very real one. Suddenly, all your once-available friends are in serious relationships and getting drinks is an activity penciled in months in advance. Also, you’re pretty sure you just injured yourself sleeping. But is it all doom and gloom? Are we all just spiraling uncontrollably away from our best years? Of course not. Sure, things change and people have babies or buy dogs and treat them like babies, but “getting better with age” is a definitely a thing. Just ask The Larchmont.
Located in a two-story craftsman along Melrose in (you guessed it) Larchmont, the restaurant is easily missable at first. But then you stop and look at it and realize how large and frankly beautiful it is. LA is no stranger to craftsman bungalows converted into restaurants, but The Larchmont is one of the few that actually still feels like a house inside. Specifically, a house owned by people who love it. This place isn’t some old LA classic, but it’s been around for long enough (and gone through enough changes) to finally feel settled in. The current version of The Larchmont is its best yet. And it starts with the food.
First and foremost, you need to be aware that The Larchmont is home to one of the best burgers in the city. And we don’t mean that generally - we’re talking top three here. It’s not drastically different than other burgers you’ve had in your life, it’s just better. Then there’s everything else - the Spanish octopus, the brussels sprouts, the crude, the lamb. These are dishes you can find in almost any LA restaurant right now, but that’s not going to stop us from coming here to eat them. From the kale doused in parmesan and pistachios to the burrata enclosed in a tiny house of beets, everything’s just slightly different enough to make it memorable.
The Larchmont isn’t some hot new scene, nor is it a tired old relic. It’s just a restaurant that’s hit its prime. You come here when your parents are in town to show them how far you’ve come, to post up in the patio with a date you could possibly spend the rest of your life with, or shake off your first very first three-day hangover at the bar because you went too hard at Medieval Times on Saturday. These might seem heavy, but those are just the kind of situations you find yourself in as you get older. So embrace it. The Larchmont sure did.
Maybe it’s the 12-hour roasted tomatoes or the house-made aioli or the patty made up of short rib, strip loin, and flank steak, but you simply won’t find many better burgers in LA than this one. It is special and worth driving from no matter where you are in the city.
We get it - you don’t want to hear about the kale. But guess what? You’re going to have to because it’s that good. Topped with an Italian aunt’s helping of parmesan, plus farro, apples, oranges, and pistachios, this isn’t your sad Tuesday night bowl of kale. This is a must-order appetizer.
Plain and simple, this is great. The whole kitchen sink feels like it’s in this tiny bowl, but the octopus doesn't get lost one bit.
This dish could just as easily be called “beets”, but either way, we aren’t complaining. The burrata itself (hiding in the middle) is fantastic, but when combined with the beets and pistachios, you’ll be thinking about this thing for awhile.
These aren't terrible - and we love anything with feta on top - but we would opt for one of the other appetizers first.
This is one of those dishes that can vary a bit depending on the night, but when it’s on, it’s on. The crispy quinoa gives it some necessary crunch, and that chili oil drizzled on top takes it to the next level.
If you aren’t doing the burger, this is your move. Yes, it’s as rich as it looks, but you’re not going to find many better lamb dishes around. Keep your knife on the table, this thing just falls apart.