THE RUNNING GOOSE
HOLLYWOOD EATERY IS OFF AND RUNNING
I’m always game to try a new dining spot. You just never know when you’ll discover a true gem amidst all the possible contenders. Hollywood in particular is a finicky tough sell. The idea of Hollywood is cool and great for visitors but for locals, it means tough to find parking and traffic. But still, I’m always game to venture out and try something new. So when I heard of The Running Goose along the Cahuenga Corridor, I thought, odd name but I was anxious to see what it was all about.
According to the powers that be, they say, “Our dream is to serve you cuisine that genuinely reflects Los Angeles. We start with a base note of Central American influence then feather in culinary stylings from across the globe. All of these cultural influences work together to offer you something truly beautiful.”
The restaurant is located in the former Berlin Currywurst location, which never really impressed but has now been transformed into a cozy and charming outdoor/indoor space with a large patio that overlooks an herb garden that grows many of the herbs and lettuces found on the menu. And the menu features all things from scales to feathers and small game to farmer’s market seasonal bests.
From Chef Antonio Luna comes a menu, described as LA Modern meets California comfort. Divided into five sections, the menu includes Salt Water, with standouts like octopus in squid ink quinoa yogurt, pickled red onion, and green olives, or a fun take on Salt Cod Churros with a lemon and saffron aioli; Small Game with a Rabbit Roulade ricotta masa “gnocchi”, pickled cactus, mushrooms and onions; Field includes an eclectic spin on vegetables like smoked potato with spiced sesame and charred onions or a Fennel salad with sour apple, mustard caramel, peanuts, sage and lime; meat lovers choose from the Hoof banner with a 15-hour Smoked Beef Ribs, Pork Belly or 10 oz. Rib Eye with yuka, cider mustard and black garlic to name a few; and Tostadas, which are seasonal small bites.
During our recent visit for dinner, we enjoyed our time in the patio on a lovely SoCal evening. Starting off with a nice glass of wine, we shared the Smoked Hamachi with burnt orange, garlic, and shallots. This was a great beginning to our night, which seemed to get better with each course.
As I mentioned, it's always a great joy to find a new local gem and The Running Goose really surprised and delighted with a couple of unexpected dishes. The Salt Cod Churros sounded interesting albeit a little off-putting, but let me tell you, they are delicious. Prepared with Saffron aioli, lemon, and cool nori, this is a game-changing menu option. I loved the "outside the box" thinking stuffing fish inside a churro. It just doesn't sound right, especially to someone who has grown up eating churros, but it was genius. Consider this a must-have.
Another winning menu option is the Smoked Potato with sunflower aioli, spiced sesame, and charred onion. These guys like to “smoke” things and who knew smoking potatoes would create such a terrific dish? There was so much flavor to this hearty item. This is another must-have. You can go to The Running Goose and dine on just the Salt Cod Churros and the Smoked Potatoes (and the ribs…keep reading). Needless to say, these are pretty filling menu selections.
But if you want an adventurous and well-rounded meal, and we did, head over to the Game section of the menu. The Duck Confit with grilled leeks, Poblano romesco, pepitas, and pickled cabbage is a great gamey choice, as is the Rabbit Roulade with ricotta masa “gnocchi”, pickled cactus, mushrooms, and onion. If I had to pick one over the other, I’d say get the rabbit as I love the “gnocchi” aspect.
A final homerun dish is the Smoked Beef Ribs with Worcestershire, rub, onions, and horseradish. The meat literally fell off the bone when we picked up a rib. That’s how soft and tender this is. Smoked for days, they’re flavorful and so delicate. If you only come for the Salt Cod Churros, the Smoked Potatoes and the ribs, you will leave one very happy and satisfied camper.
We also opted for the Pork Cheeks with honey-whiskey, pine apple cider mustard, black garlic, and beets, which was really a fine dish, but fell just short coming after the smoked ribs. But to be honest, there isn’t much that could follow those sensational, smoky ribs. That’s pretty much as good as it gets.
If you save room for dessert, we were big fans of the Plantano Custard with maple, nutmeg, red Rice Krispies, chocolate, and Thai basil, along with the Doughnuts with strawberry hibiscus jam and La Rosa peanut butter. Come on, who doesn’t love PB&J? I’d opt for donuts if y you had to choose between the two. Obviously we left our diet at the door this evening.
Venturing to congested Hollywood proved completely beneficial this night as we discovered a true new local gem that serves bold, daring and delicious eats. I’m already making plans go for the churros, potatoes and ribs. Damn, now that’s good eatin’.
The Running Goose is located at 1620 N Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood. Open daily for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Call 323-469-1080.
Story by Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy of: The Running Goose