Hudson House

Restaurant in Los Angeles

American Pub Restaurant

There’s no shame.  People flock to LA to see the people they see on TV.  They’re allowed.  But when you live in LA you don’t have such liberties.

Thing is we renounce our star struck card when we attain residence.  They make us. So we have our veiled versions.  We show up at the restaurants they own.

Chef Brooke Williamson had us at first chop.  It’s more than unfair - someone so naturally likeable gets to be so enormously talented.  And self taught no less. As I write this review I have no idea if she crosses the Top Chef finish line, nor does the rest of America.  But as I sample her talent at the American gastro pub she owns with her husband Nick Roberts, (they have two, we’re at Hudson House, in Redondo Beach), over kale grit fritters and roasted Brussels sprouts, I can definitely, most absolutely, hope.

So you know those places you get to and you kinda wish you were somewhere else?  Hudson House is that somewhere else you want to be.  It’s so easy here.  Like ‘Cheers’ with better food and less Diane Chambers.

The apps are too good to be selective, and too well priced to have to be.  Just order a bunch and go to town.  The kale fritters harken tater tot days of yore, all cubed and hot and bite size and impossible to stop eating.  Like popcorn you take them down.  The roasted Brussels sprouts reveal Brooke’s balancing prowess – it’s not easy to take the bitter out of Brussels.  She does, with a little sherry vinegar and a winter warmth, complements of the chestnuts.  More popcorn.  Except instead of trans-fat oils you’re consuming kale and sprouts.  I knew I had a thing for this woman.

And then there are the toasts with the fancy name.  Brebirousse D’Argental “toasts.”  I don’t know what that translates into, but you know how you order French Onion soup just you can have that cheese drenched crouton in the middle?  You can.  Hold the soup.

I moved onto the chicken meatball sandwich, he had the grilled rockfish, his complimented lusciously with smoky bourbon, and me?  A Pink Pearl.  Vodka, Lillet, grapefruit juice, fresh white peach puree, and soda.  Like drinking the promise that summer is always around the corner in Southern California.

At 6:30pm the place is packed.  Packed.  Friends, families, it’s hard to pin down a populous because everybody feels so welcome here, so at ease. The food is undeniable comfort fare with a hearty helping of healthy; the service is delightful and hold up, dessert!  Don’t you dare depart without it.  Baked to order oatmeal cherry cookie (in a skillet!  By far my favourite means of cookie presentation) beneath a scoop of melting salted caramel ice cream and a generous sprinkle of crushed pretzels.  If I couldn’t still taste it I’d have sworn I only dreamed it.

Hudson House is a toast to the new-fangled concept that one need not eat greasy unexceptional foods when going out for a drink and a bite.  Not one thing we ate tonight was unspecial.  In fact every menu item sang of a chef who loves her craft, just as the line out the door sang of a following that loves her back.

Even the ones who aren’t allowed to admit it.

Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles

Hudson House on Urbanspoon

Reviewer's Rating
Cuisine American
Need to book Advisable
Clientele Casual, locals, though worth the drive if you’re not one
Restaurant good for Couples, Families with children, Bar scene, Meeting up with friends
Cost per head Medium
Dress Code Casual
Dining Options Dinner

Additional Ambience Information

Barstools, brick, and banquettes. As cool as it is comfortable – a rarely attained combo.

Additional Price Comments

Cocktails from $10; Pail of Fries and other small bites from $4; Steamed Littleneck Clams and more substantial bites from $10; Steaks from $14; Desserts from $6.

Last updated on 16-01-2013

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