Nov 18, 2013

Seafood Madness at Son of a Gun Restaurant in Los Angeles, CA

Son of a Gun was crowned as one of the 99 essential restaurants 2013 by LA Weekly. On top of that, the chefs behind this everything about seafood establishment, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, were named as 2012 Chefs of the Year by the Los Angeles magazine. In fact, Son of a Gun is the second baby of these two chefs and the very first one is the Animal restaurant just blocks away. Both places were instant hits for the Los Angeles foodscape.

I got my first taste of these two talented chefs' cuisine back in 2012 at the Animal restaurant. Like the name suggests, the Animal was more of a meat lovers' paradise with a majority of the dishes using 2 legged or 4 legged animals. As for Son of a Gun, it's more like refined seafood joint. It's not the basic dip everything with clarified butter or cocktail sauce kind of seafood restaurant. Instead, every dish here has a twist, either by chefs' implementation of modern cooking techniques or their own interpretations of some of the classic seafood dishes.

Just like the Animal, Son of a Gun doesn't have a clear signage so it is very likely to drive pass it - make sure to have your GPS handy.

The restaurant can basically splits into three sections. There's a long 20-seat communal table and a 5-seat bar. These two areas are for walk in customers.

The other section contains spacious dining tables for reservations. Beware, the communal table can be elbow bumping sometimes depend on who you are going to sit with. In the case of an intimate date night dinner, make sure to call ahead and reserve your spot early.

Below is Wild Irish rose in the back, which is cocktail made with Irish whiskey, lime, pomegranate, and soda. I got a glass of rosé, 2012 "Guilhem" Vin de Pays d'Herault, Moulin de Gassac Aniane, $10, which should go well with the upcoming seafood madness -

Main menu -

Most of the items here come in small/tiny portions, which is good because that way even for a party of two can still get to try a wide variety of food. Of course that's never a concern for me and Mr. K especially I eat like a man. A hungry man.

Today's oysters on the half shell, condiments $3/each oyster -

Sweet and succulent, perfect way to start the meal.

Side track: It's amazing how my iPhone takes way better pictures in the dark than my Canon with standard lens. Perhaps it's time to invest in a new lens?

Amberjack sashimi, serrano, fish sauce, vinaigrette, herbs $7 -

Did I mention about small dish earlier? Meanwhile, you'll see a lot of Asian influences on Son of a Gun's dishes.

Dungeness crab, daikon, melon, yuzu $10 -

Lobster roll, celery, lemon aioli $8 -

I considered this one of Son of a Gun's signature dishes. You can see servers keep bringing out these mini lobster rolls from the kitchen. Don't get fooled by the zoom in picture, these rolls are actually quite tiny, about the size of half of the palm. It is wise to order one for each person because the lobster rolls were too good to be shared. Especially the bread, it was toasted to perfection, soft and fluffy on the inside with buttery crunchiness on the outside.

Shrimp toast sandwich, herbs, sriracha mayo $12 -

It's about the size of a squared tofu. We shared this dish but soon regret the decision. The toast itself was moist yet crunchy at the same time. The sriracha mayo just burst in your mouth and the flavors simply spread all over. Make sure to have one full toast all for yourself.

Next drink, good old whiskey -

Spirits menu -

Getting ready for 2nd round of food -

Boquerones, pickled quail egg, asparagus, crispy ham $12 -

Chips & dip: pimento cheese, potato chips $6 -

Server will bring out more chips if needed.

Our largest dish of the night, skate wing, baby broccoli, mascarpone, pancetta vinaigrette $15 -

The pancetta provides a fuller body for this dish while the acidity from the vinaigrette cuts through the grease. Well balanced and every ingredients really help others shine. 

Smoked steelhead roe, maple cream, pumpernickel $16 -

The saltiness of the roe works really well with the slightly sweetened maple cream. I personally like to take the chips from earlier dish and spread the maple cream all over, especially the chips with pimento was way too salty for my taste. 

Can't think of a better way to end the night, it's time to satisfy my second stomach for dessert -

Italian hamburger: ginaduja, brioche, caramel, maldon $7 -

Another highly recommended dish here. I mean, how can you not fall in love with a dessert that looks like a burger? 

It's a sweet hamburger with the patty made with hazelnut/chocolate ice cream. Surprisingly, it's the first time that a brioche overtakes the never failing place of hazelnut chocolate combo in my heart. Son of a Gun really knows how to bake those buns. The slightly burned edges creates even more layers and flavor densities for the brioche.

Our bill for the night -

Told you I eat like a man. However, the 4 people group sitting next to us ordered about the same amount of food so the average price per person fluctuates.

The bill was put on top of the tin cap for canned anchovies -

Some of our dishes were heavily seasoned with salt that night, perhaps a little bit too much, not even for bar food. However, Son of Gun's lobster roll and shrimp toasts are just too good to be true. Especially the buns they made for the roll and the dessert burger, hands down my favorite "element" of the night.

Must Order:
Lobster roll
Shrimp toast
Italian hamburger for dessert

Cindy's rating: 7

Son of a Gun
8370 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9033
Son of a Gun:

Lunch: Mon - Fri 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: Sun - Thu 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fri - Sat 6 p.m. - 12 midnight

*Valet parking available not for the restaurant, for the entire 3rd street section
*If you don't mind walking, the valet parking just 2 to 3 blocks away from Son of a Gun is about $2 cheaper. Might as well save money and burn some fat to stuff even more seafood in the tummy right?

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