When you don’t feel like firing up the grill in your own backyard, visit one of these global restaurants serving up hot, charred, barbecued bliss. From Japanese Robatayaki to Greek lamb, and Middle Eastern chicken to all-American burgers and grilled cheese, you’re sure to find something to sink your teeth into.
8439 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Before summer’s over, check-out the Red Sun BBQ, with Japanese tapas and specialty cocktails at Katana, and dine al fresco on the patio overlooking the Sunset Strip. The summertime menu is offered on Sunday evenings and will be wrapping up Labor Day weekend, though grilled dishes are offered all year long.
Katana specializes in the traditional Robatayaki style of cooking, which involves open flame charcoal grilling over Japanese “bincho tan” coals. A variety of ingredients are pierced onto bamboo skewers, ranging from meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables and grilled to perfection over the special coals. Top skewers on the menu include the Wagyu (Japanese premium beef), the Ebi Bacon (jumbo shrimp wrapped with bacon in a chili garlic sauce) and the Suzuki (Chilean sea bass). All are served with three dipping sauces: soy mustard, ginger and ponzu.
8384 West 3rd Street
West Hollywood, CA 90048
Known as a hip gastro pub with a rustic, industrial vibe and good food, The Churchill, located on West Third Street, serves up American dishes with European hospitality. The indoor/outdoor space encompasses a restaurant and bar with reclaimed wood communal tables, polished concrete floors and a lush garden patio with fireplace.
Starting with a grilled, dry-aged Angus patty, The Churchill Burger is topped with smoked bacon, Savory Hook’s aged cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and pickles – all piled on top of a toasted brioche bun. The perfectly charred burger is served with a generous amount of crispy, herbed fries.
Fig & Olive
8490 Melrose Pl
West Hollywood, CA 90069
At Fig & Olive, Mediterranean dishes from the South of France, Italy and Spain are accented with a variety of olive oils, taking the place of butter and adding wonderful flavors. For a summery chicken salad, try the Grilled Thyme Chicken Paillard, made with a grilled free-range chicken breast marinated with ayala spice and served with lemon, arugula, spinach, Brussels sprouts, pickled red onion, tomato, haricot vert, almonds, bell pepper, capers, and drizzled with Koroneiki Olive Oil. It’s plated beautifully with lots of color and flavor – the chicken is well-seasoned, tender and melts in your mouth.
Another stand-out dish is the Grilled Lamb on Rosemary Skewers, served with bell pepper, Greek yogurt, honey, couscous with figs, red onion, scallion, tomato and drizzled with Koroneiki Olive Oil. The lamb skewers lay on a bed of aromatic couscous salad and the rosemary adds a nice accent to the yogurt and vegetables. Each bite encompasses a well-balanced combination of flavors.
1114 North Crescent Heights Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
A neighborhood staple and destination hot-spot, The Hudson draws a young, hip crowd and friendly mix of community, music, film and fashion types. The train car design has bare Edison bulbs throughout and dark rustic furniture set in a pre-Prohibition atmosphere. You’ll find trees growing straight through the building and out the roof, to add even more eclectic style to the space.
Gather with friends around the popular photo booth to socialize, but when you’re ready to eat some comfort food, try the Brioche Grilled Cheese made with provolone, American and cheddar cheeses and served with roasted tomato soup, fries or field greens. You can even substitute sweet potato fries and add braised short rib to your sandwich for added richness. The toasted buttery brioche is soft inside as it cradles the melted cheeses.
Another top pick includes the Chicken Sandwich with fresh mozzarella, tomato, walnut pesto and balsamic and the Steak Sandwich with grilled onions, tomato, arugula and a horseradish crème fraiche.
Olive & Thyme
4013 Riverside Drive
Toluca Lake, CA 91505
Olive & Thyme is a family-owned and operated gourmet café and marketplace, specializing in some of the world’s finest cheese, charcuterie, wine, salts, confectioneries, and condiments. Opened in 2011 by owners Christian and Melina Davies, the café serves a wide selection of pastries, salads and sandwiches, in addition to wine and beer from around the world.
Chef Melina Davies offers a Middle Eastern Chicken sandwich with grilled chicken, hummus, harissa, aji sauce, tomato salsa, pickled onions, cilantro, mint and dill on a grilled pita. The chicken in the sandwich is similar to a chicken shwarma, but rather than sliced off of a spit, the chicken breast is grilled and sliced, and placed on a grilled pita with fresh herbs and a little extra kick of spice from the harissa. The hummus provides creamy coolness and pickled onions add a touch of extra flavor (versus fresh in the traditional version). This delicious sandwich is a modern, healthy interpretation of a traditional Middle Eastern dish.
Napa Valley Grille
1100 Glendon Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
The Natural Grilled Pork Chop at Napa Valley Grille is accompanied with mustard greens, Swiss chard, a cherry and sweet onion compote and topped with a bourbon apple jus. The meat is locally farmed and remains tender after grilling. Elements of the bitter greens complement the sweet fruits of the summer season. If you feel like eating seafood, try the Blackened Ahi Tuna, a clean, simple dish where the fresh ahi is seared on the grill and paired with a citrus yuzu vinaigrette.
Liz Laing is a writer, web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on Liz Laing.