Being at a loose end in LA in NYE is not The One. So when Charlie Conrad invited us to spend NYE with him at his pub The Village Idiot, LA's answer to the gastro pub, we jumped at the chance. Then we saw the invite and we jumped a bit more.
I say LA's answer to a gastro pub as this is a concept that until recently didn't really reach LA shores. The Village Idiot pride themselves on being the kind of place you can drop in, grab a pint of Stella and munch down on some great food all in an environment with the atmosphere of a local pub. You won't see any poncy Frenchy food names on the menu, instead you're more likely to find LA's answer to a full English or banging Sunday roast.
The room was complete with mullets, Desperately Seeking Susan styled ladies and of course, the obligatory balloon drop.
Cabbage, baby beets, grapefruit, pistachio and mustard vinaigrette combined in a little salad was the perfect accompaniment to plethora of plates that were about to arrive at the table.
grilled octopus, celery, satsuma, pickled Fresno chillies and octopus vinaigrette
The quintessentially British 'Tea sandwich', made with liver pate, house made bacon, quince and red onion was a real meaty joy. They butcher their own pork out the back thus resulting in fresh home cut bacon and piggy belly.
My Ma used to trick me into eating Brussels sprouts at Christmas time by re-branding them as some sort of miniature cabbage. I challenge anyone who doesn't like Brussels sprouts to not wolf this down in a second. The sprouts were slightly caramelised around the edges, this combined with the smoky bacon (house made) lardons was a welcome change.
Probably my favourite dish of the evening. Crispy pork belly with spicy apple and jicama salad. Jicama is a crispy, sweet root vegatable resembling a turnip, real popular in Mexican cuisine.
The chorizo stuffed devils on horseback came a very close second as my favourite dish, obviously they got munched down too quickly to take a photo.
Massive huge thank you to Charlie and all the fantastic staff for their hospitality and for creating a truly perfect NYE.
The Village Idiot
7383 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046