THE LOST KNIGHT
BRIT GASTROPUB COMES TO ECHO PARK
I don’t know if I would call it a new British Invasion, but the Brits have definitely made their presence known in Echo Park with the opening of The Lost Knight, a vast and charming old school public house that took over the former Barragan’s space on Sunset Boulevard.
From the team behind The Otheroom in Venice Beach, The Lost Knight, which also includes GM and sommelier Mary Thompson (formerly of Saint Martha) and Executive Chef Gabriel Cappelli (also formerly of Saint Martha), the pub menu includes patés, pies, sausages, and burgers, along with the usual suspects like fish and chips with hand-cut fries and a Craftsman 1903 beer batter, and, not to be outdone, Stargazy Pie, a 16th century Cornish fish pie that features a whole Idaho trout with roasted parsnip puree cooked in puff pastry and adorned in the traditional manner with the trout's head sticking out of the crust.
During our recent visit, I was impressed with the makeover that gave way to a welcoming and elegant formal dining room and a slightly industrial and open-spaced bar area. Bellying up to the bar, as I’m prone to do, we started with cocktails—just because. My favorites were the classic Vesper martini made with Boudier London Dry Gin, Ketel One, Lillet Blanc with a lemon twist served up. This is a nice and very stiff drink. The other standout was the Pimms Cup, made with Pimm’s No. 1, house made lemonade, soda water and a dash of Angostura Bitters with mint garnish over ice. This was just so damn refreshing. This one is perfect for day drinking, especially over weekend brunch. If you like a really stiff drink, the Gimlet with Sloane’s Premium Dry Gin, house made simple syrup and lime juice packs a wallop.
According to the powers that be, the fare at The Lost Knight is described as “honest, classic and no-nonsense: a celebration of great pub fair.”
Working our way down the Starters section, we sampled the Asparagus Soldiers served with parsnip chips served with dill and a soft cooked egg. The Welsh Rabbit prepared with 1903 ale-based cheese sauce broiled over toast is a nice appetizer, as is the Duck Paté and Toast. Traditional British fare can really be found with the Devils on Horseback, prunes filled with pear compote wrapped in bacon, and Angels on Horseback, prunes filled with pear compote topped with melted Stilton blue cheese.
A specialty of the house is the Sausage Rolls, which are made fresh daily and served with chips or a small salad. There are half a dozen to choose from, ranging from pork, lamb, pheasant and rabbit, duck, and vegetarian. We tried the Cumberland (ground pork, sage, coriander and parsley), Merguez (lamb sausage with harissa, fennel and garlic) and Game (pheasant and rabbit sausage with walnuts and thyme). I found the rolls to be somewhat bland and was surprised they were served cold. Part of the problem was that I wasn’t used to Brit sausage rolls. After I doused them with mustard, I liked them better.
From our Main Courses, we just had to try the Stargazy Pie, yup, this is a whole Idaho trout with roast parsnip puree cooked in puff pastry accompanied by sautéed beet greens. My biggest issue with this dish is that it’s actually a casserole and not a pie, as there is no crust on the bottom. That’s right, most times when you have chicken potpie, a favorite of mine, it’s really a chicken pot casserole. And yes, I do take issue with that. But this “pie” was pretty damn tasty. Like several of these menu items, they are a required taste. If you don’t like prunes, you’ll probably want to skip a couple of the Starters and if you’re not a fish person, then fish pie may not be for you. I loved the puff pastry and the trout made for a unique potpie experience.
The Fish and Chips with Yorkshire caviar and tartar sauce, accompanied with malt vinegar, curry sauce or brown sauce at your pleasure was solid, but somewhat pricey at $17 for fish and chips. But you can definitely taste the freshness. This isn’t thawed out fish. I like the attention to detail that chef is putting on these pub staples.
A standout of the night was The Knight’s Leg, duck confit and pear compote wrapped in puff pastry accompanied by a savory porridge of steel cut oats and vegetables with juniper au jus. At $24, this is a pricey entrée but it is a generous serving of duck. And it’s pretty cool to whip around a duck leg.
While desserts may vary, I’m personally a fan of the Bramble for liquid dessert. A favorite dessert cocktail of mine, OK, there’s nothing about this drink that makes it dessert but it’s sweet and that’s when I like it best. Made with Brokers London Dry Gin, Crème de Mure, lemon juice and house made simple syrup served on the rocks, this drink always goes down easy.
The Lost Knight is by no means a local watering hole, although Wednesday is Darts & Curry Night, and it is the place to catch all the football and rugby games, it’s also a cool spot for good drinks, pints and wine, and authentic and tasty British fare.
The Lost Knight is located at 1538 Sunset Blvd. Call 213-278-0408.
Story by Jose Martinez