Here’s Looking at You
Although found in Koreatown, the food at Here’s Looking at You is not actually Korean. And trying to pin down where the food hails from is a wasted endeavour; ingredients and inspiration for the menu here span the globe. Better to simply enjoy it. Order frog legs with salsa negra, spring onions and lime. Or a plate of Carolina gold rice, black truffles, chicken skins and parsley. Maybe some Shishito peppers with tonnato and huamei. Or the foie gras and smoked eel terrine with carrot mustard and fennel. Crisp and tangy flavours here are used masterfully, whether from fresh herbs or fermented fresh produce. Citrus or spice. And textures blend or blast, depending on the dish. Happily, more often than not, diners at Here’s Looking at You end their evenings here with a well-developed sense of well-being and an enhanced appreciation for creative cooking.
That well-being is helped, in part, by the stellar bar programme. The cocktails change, like the menu does, but it’s practically a guarantee that you’ll find something to tempt; Allan Katz and Danielle Crouch know how to mix a damn fine drink. Take the Mission Bell, for example. It’s an inventive twist on an Old Fashioned and, after a few sips of the ballsy bourbon, rye and Cognac mix that’s been infused with ripe peach, lapsang souchong syrup and black lemon bitters, you can see why it’s described as “all whiskey wrath on the outside and love songs on the inside.”
The restaurant’s interiors are a kind of love song themselves. Envisioned by the owners and alums of another popular LA restaurant, Animal, Jonathan Whitener and Lien Ta, Here’s Looking at You is modern and lively. On the white and grey walls, you’ll spy some mounted oryx heads and a framed picture of Morrissey, while the dangling lights above the bar cast a copper glow. The set up seems simple, but it’s perfectly executed – much like the restaurant itself.