FREDDY SMALL’S BAR + KITCHEN
COZY WESTWIDE TREAT FOR EATS & DRINKS
Since the beginning of the year, the Westside has been enjoying the tasty eats and savory cocktails of Freddy Small’s Bar + Kitchen, the latest casual neighborhood tavern from Jeff Weinstein, founder of burger chain The Counter.
More than just a cool West L.A. watering hole, Freddy Smalls, under the guidance of former Seven Grand bartender David Fleisher, serves delectable dishes and offers 12 tap beers and wonderfully crafted cocktails Monday through Saturday with a slant towards late-night dining.
With its white-tile-walls and leather-banquette booths, the cozy neighborhood bar is a treat for locals but also a great destination for anyone looking for good eats and drinks, from Belgian waffles and whiskey, and that’s just for starters.
During our recent visit, we started with the Stumbling Cowboy, made with Old Overholdt Rye, homemade sarsaparilla, candied ginger and lemon garnish, which provides quite the kick, along with the Paloma, made with Zapopan Reposado Tequila, fresh grapefruit, agave syrup soda and Peychaud’s bitters, a nice and refreshing drink that gets you your $10’s worth.
For solid, savory starters from the menu, go with the Buffalo Deviled Eggs, served with crisp chicken skin, Point Reyes blue cheese, CP’s hot sauce, and celery. This is a light and delicious dish.
But hands down, my favorite small plate item is the Fried Brussels Sprouts with smoked goat cheese and apple cider glaze. I don’t know how healthy a choice this plate is with the added glaze but it is easily one of the best green dishes you’ll find in town. This order along is reason enough for repeated visits.
If you’re still looking for healthier fare, order the Amber Jack Crudo, served with cucumber-radish salad, yuzu vinaigrette, and sesame. It’s light and refreshing and guilt free.
Another wonderful standout is the Mushroom & Farro Stew prepared with caramelized onion consommé, winter vegetables and other greens. At $13 it’s a fantastic entrée. Add a slow-cooked organic egg for $3 more. Between the Brussels Sprouts and the Mushroom & Farro Stew, I have now found my new favorite must-have weekly order. The Bruschetta, with Di Stefano burrata, baby artichokes, and olive-caper vinaigrette, is tasty and filling plate to share.
A couple of other quality cocktails to choose from to keep the party going include the Whitman’s Old Fashioned, made with Maker’s Mark, Earl Grey syrup, cherry, bitters, soda splash, and orange wedge garnish, which is a solid take during this current Mad Men inspired Old Fashioned craze, as well as the Whiskey Stones, also made with Maker’s Mark, stone pine liqueur, Dolin dry vermouth, and bitters, serving a solid kick and offering a fine mixology feel.
If you’re famished and looking for a meaty dish or a plate to share with fellow carnivores, order the 48-ounce steak for $65 when it’s available. Otherwise, a nice selection perfect for sharing is The Baller Board, which consists of Chicken Liver Mousse, with sweet onion marmalade, Dijon mustard and radish, Rabbit Mortadella, with fennel, Asian pear, and violet mustard, and Country Pork Pate with bread and butter pickles, apple sauce, and stone ground mustard. At $22 it offers a little bit of everyone and is good if you’re group isn’t starving or is ordering a couple of other small plates.
A popular dessert selection is the Belgian Waffle, made with grilled lady apple, bacon butter and bourbon-maple syrup. Personally, I thought it just ratified that not everything is better with bacon, even with bourbon syrup added. It’s a fine novelty menu item but you’ll be better off ordering another cocktail or just saving some cash. There are too many wonderful dishes to order and drinks to savor to order something just for laughs.
Freddy Small’s is located at 11520 W. Pico Blvd. in West Los Angeles. Open Mon-Thurs 5:30 p.m. - 1 a.m.; Fri-Sat 5:30 p.m. - 2 a.m. Closed Sunday. Call 310-479-3000.