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Into the Fire

BY Lesley Balla | February 21, 2018 | Feature Features

April Bloomfield lands in L.A. with a hearthcentric menu for Hollywood.
The Hearth & Hound's charred chicories with citrus, pistachio and fromage blanc

Walking to The Hearth & Hound in Hollywood brings back so many memories. While the restaurant is new, it took over the very beloved The Cat & Fiddle, whose patio was one of the best places to while away with groups of friends that seemed to ebb and flow throughout the afternoon or night. The pub was there forever, a central figure in the nightlife scene—a local’s hangout for celebrities, comedians and musicians. It had soul.

The stunning new restaurant from April Bloomfield, the award-winning chef from New York City’s famed The Spotted Pig, among other places, definitely taps into some of that history, if not uncovers and puts it on full display. Walking through the arches of the historic building—which was built in the ’20s by Western film star Fred Thomson and his wife, Francis Marion, as a Spanish-themed shopping court—the verdant patio is still there, with a century-old olive tree and a restored Malibu tile fountain on display. Only now, the space is encased with white booths and green-tipped white awning-umbrellas giving it an almost Hellenic feel—a good match for the California-inspired Mediterranean food coming out of Bloomfield’s kitchen.

The entire outpost was torn down to the studs, especially in the dining room, where the ceiling was lifted and skylights were put in. Brick walls have a wash of white-milk paint; the hardwood floors look all of their age; and columns and booths separate the restaurant, making each corner feel intimate. At night, when dim lights cast a golden hue, the brightness of the bustling open kitchen is that much more of a focal point. You can see flames dancing in the hearth, a cornerstone to the menu.

Bloomfield is part of the wave of celebrity chefs planting their feet firmly in our sun-drenched culinary scene. Although we all know eating here has always been amazing, this influx of big names is a testament to Los Angeles being seen as the hottest food city in the country right now, a place where chefs of every ilk can try something new and break out of their mold. In a way, that’s The Hearth & Hound for Bloomfield.

With her places in New York and one in San Francisco, the British chef is widely known for all things meaty—crispy pig’s ears, chicken liver on toast, pancetta in everything, and one very high-profile burger—and cooking with the seasons. Her first cookbook was A Girl and Her Pig, after all. And The Spotted Pig was what everything became across the country: bars with elevated food, no tablecloths, laid-back but still elite. What she isn’t known for is working the room, chatting with guests and making a ton of TV appearances. That seems almost an anathema to L.A.

Photography Courtesy Of: