We all remember our first month of college. Or maybe we don’t because we were all too busy guzzling $7 vodka handles and trying to fit in. We were wild with freedom and made mistakes on the hour. But as freshman year went on and we became more comfortable with everything, we started to learn some things. Perhaps we didn’t have to go out every single night of the week, or finish that bottle of Bacardi in the bathroom before the RA walked in. Everybody just needs some time to figure out their sh*t.
Early on, Winsome was also playing fast and loose. But it has now figured out its sh*t.
This isn’t to say the Echo Park spot got off to a disastrous start - you just got the sense at the beginning that it was still trying to figure itself out. But after adding dinner service and making some key menu adjustments, the new version of Winsome is the slightly upscale, welcoming neighborhood restaurant Echo Park desperately needed.
One thing that hasn’t changed: Winsome is, and has always been, a good-looking restaurant. The whole place feels like a Jersey Turnpike diner that Jonathan Adler got ahold of and made into something important. There’s a 12-seat counter and a row of brown leather booths lining the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into the patio. The place feels bright, airy, and larger than it actually is. The vibe is definitely laid-back, but has a classy edge as well so you’ll feel just as comfortable taking the crew here for brunch as you will a scary client from London who needs his steak cooked a very specific way.
But where Winsome has truly come into its own is with its food. The all-day restaurant is still an excellent brunch spot, but its dinner situation is tremendous and not to be overlooked. Everything from their heirloom tomato salad to the rockfish boil to the ribeye is excellent and different and moves Winsome way beyond the category of simply Saturday Hangover Savior.
Whether it’s your 18-year-old self passing on a game of vodka pong, or a restaurant turning a corner, it might take a minute - but eventually, sometimes, you figure it out. Winsome is proof that the end result is worth the wait.
We’d order a rockfish boil on any menu just because those two words sound awesome together. But good news, Winsome’s version is also very good. The couscous on the bottom is a little overcooked, but thanks to the bacon oyster crackers on top, there’s much-appreciated crunch.
A breakfast/brunch must-order. Applewood bacon, herb butter, and sh*t ton of cheddar cheese. The way a breakfast sandwich should be.
Nothing about this dish will pop off the menu, but trust us, this is a must-order at dinner. The ricotta salada is excellent and the roasted plum vinaigrette drizzled on top brings it all home.
It will definitely take a second to locate the actual cauliflower in this dish, but who cares? A basically raw cauliflower dish that actually tastes good is an accomplishment in and of itself, and they can put as much shaved parmesan as they want on top.
Only served during brunch/lunch, this isn’t the best burger in town, but we’ll happily eat it anytime we’re here. Those pickled shallots on top do us right.
We’ll give this guy points for being pretty different than anything else we’ve ever had, but something about it just doesn’t come together. There’s too much toast and not enough spicy n’duja.
What’s essentially hash browns topped with brisket and eggs, the potato rosti is definitely good, it’s just oddly not that filling. Worth getting to pass around the table? Yes.