WORKSHOP KITCHEN + BAR
L.A. GETS ITS OWN DESERT DINING OUTPOST
I was over the moon happy when I learned that Los Angeles would be getting its very own Workshop Kitchen + Bar. And the fact that it would be on La Brea Avenue, walking distance from me, made it even better. But then COVID happened and a very long wait began.
Now, two-plus years later, Workshop Los Angeles is finally open for business. But sadly, the new location originally disappointed. The original Workshop Kitchen in Palm Springs is a dining and drinking desert oasis, offering delicious and daring food and cocktails.
But when the L.A. outpost opened, it only offered two tasting menus—one with meat options and the other plant-based. While dinner was nice, albeit pricey, how many times are you willing to shell out big bucks for a multi-course meal? I feel that with only the tasting menu as an option, it was a one-and-done dinner experience at Workshop Los Angeles. Now there are a la carte options, including honey nut squash, tasty oyster mushrooms, wood-fired pizza, sweet potato gnocchi, diver scallop, pork chop, New York steak, and A5 Wagyu.
I also found the cocktail menu to be lackluster. Several of the drinks were too sweet for my liking, including their martini, or they were just blah. Maybe it’s because the Palm Springs Workshop is leaps and bounds better that this one really fell flat.
After repeated visits just bellying up to the bar and getting to know the bar staff, including head bartender Jessi Mess, now I am relieved that I can get quality cocktails so close to home—I just need to go off menu. That’s the great thing about getting to know your bar staff because once they know your taste, they can get creative and really serve you top-notch drinks to your liking.
I’ve had both of the tasting menus at the La Brea Workshop and I have enjoyed each. They are very similar with the exception of your meat option, which can vary from dry-aged New York steak and/or quail. The presentations are lovely and the bites, which are supposed to get bigger with each course, are tasty. The veggie Oyster Mushrooms are really delicious, as is the sweet potato gnocchi. I’ve also gone to the bar and enjoyed the wood-fired pizza with my drinks.
I just really wished the menu was either the same as in Palm Springs or, at least, something very similar. I have loved my experiences every time I dined and drank at Workshop Kitchen Palms Springs.
For now, go if you’re curious. I say eat at neighboring Sugarfish or Burgers 99 and indulge with some potent and pleasing off-menu cocktails at Workshop Kitchen + Bar.
Workshop Kitchen + Bar Los Angeles is located at 127 S. La Brea Ave. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30pm to close. Call 323-413-2255.
Story & Photography By: Jose Martinez