Workshop Kitchen + Bar

We’ve been fans of Workshop’s original location in Palm Springs for years, but unfortunately, its new LA expansion on La Brea misses the mark. For starters, the stark, brutalist space is about as unsettling as dining rooms get. The street-facing facade that once belonged to Odys + Penelope is gone, covered by a hulking wall of black steel. Inside, ominous concrete sitting pods (commonly referred to as “tables”) are both visually terrifying and impractical, like you’re eating at a Dune fan activation inside the Beverly Center. The sole menu option is a five-course tasting menu, which for $90 per person ($75 for the vegetarian menu), seems like a steal these days. And some things that hit the table, like a medium-rare flat iron steak in a red wine butter, are pretty flavorful. The issue is most dishes are cluttered with dated bits of flair—like vegetable foams and edible glitter—that don’t add much. The five courses aren’t a ton of food, either, which means you end up spending more on supplemental dishes like a very good baba ganoush and a very bad potato and leek pizza, so you don’t walk out hungry. Probably better to plan for a second meal somewhere else, regardless.