Gastropubs (bars that serves high quality fresh and seasonal cuisine) are popping up all over LA. Â The best Gastropub, and one of my favorite restaurants in the City overall, is Lazy Ox Canteen. Â It’s located downtown in Little Tokyo and if you don’t live there, it’s definitely worth the drive. Â The atmosphere is dark, boisterous and urban. Â Minimal and cozy at the same time. Â The bar is stocked with great craft beers and esoteric wines. Â The food, which is mostly small plates, is across-the-board excellent and some dishes I would say are perfection.
Like most Gastropubs, Lazy Ox Canteen has a nice selection of gourmet fried foods. Â The Pig Ear “Chicharon” (sliced and fried pig ears) with Radish Salad and Yuzu Aioli is a must-have. Â The Crispy Surf Clams with Caper and Pickle Aioli, which is seasoned to perfection, is also a dish you want to make sure to order. Â The many non-fried items on the menu are equally delicious and inventive. Â If available, definitely order theÂ Poblano Soup with Grapes & Crispy Pork Belly and either the Dashi Marinated Yellowtail with Avocado, Hash Brown & Tonburi or Yellowtail Crudo with Szechuan, Mint & Celeriac. Â I also love the Caramelized Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Chile Flake & Mint. Â The menu (much of which are blackboard specials) changes often so there is always something new to try. Â Don’t forget to order their excellent Rice Pudding for dessert.
Lazy Ox Canteen is located at 241 South San Pedro Street in Los Angeles (Downtown/Little Tokyo). UPDATE: Lazy Ox Canteen has unfortunately closed. It will be missed.