Freddy Smalls Bar and Kitchen, located in the heart of West Los Angeles, is an intimate neighborhood gathering place specializing in signature cocktails, a dozen beers on tap and a select wine selection. They also offer amazing, hearty and inventive bar food and small plates. Jeff Weinstein, founder of The Counter, is behind the project. Weinstein brought on Charlie Parker as Executive Chef. The two were introduced to one another by mutual friends and were aligned in their desire to do something different than they had before in executing the vision of a neighborhood bar/kitchen. The former El Serape space now features inviting brown leather banquettes as well as bar seating. David Fleisher, formerly of Seven Grand, created and leads the bar program and is GM of the restaurant.
Fleisher did his due diligence in selecting off the beaten path hand-crafted spirits, mainly from small producers. As our host for the evening David made us an outstanding round of cocktails including the Stumbling Cowboy (Old Overholt Rye, homemade sarsaparilla, candied ginger and lemon garnish), 5-Star Sidecar (Metaxa 5 Star, fresh orange and lemon, Jerry Thomas bitters), Pico Sour (Pisco, lemon, egg white, orange blossom and simple syrup), Mayberry Smash (Death’s Door Gin, fresh berries, sage honey, lemon and mint leaf garnish) and Whiskey Stones (Maker’s Mark, stone pine liqueur, barrel-aged bitters, Dolin dry vermouth). Along with this round of superlative cocktails David served us some BBQ cashews with candied bacon and Freddy’s Secret Spices which is about the best thing ever!
Chef Charlie Parker’s kitchen at Freddy Smalls serves decidedly hearty bar food and small plates designed to enhance (and soak up) the wide selection of cocktails and beers. He has created unprecedented revisions of traditional bar food. On our visit Chef Charlie prepared us Fried Brussels Sprouts (Smoked goat cheese, apple cider glaze), Buffalo Deviled Eggs (Crisp chicken skin, Point Reyesblue cheese, CP’s hot sauce and celery), Crispy Pig’s Ear & Fried Egg (Brioche, bacon, cilantro slaw and romesco), Reuben’s Gluttony (Corned beef, bone marrow, yorky pudding, caramelized kraut and mustard) and New School Chicken Parm (a West Picoremix with dark meat). All of the dishes were out of this world and paired beautifully with the cocktails.
The vibe here is welcoming; they are definitely a neighborhood bar that plays great music! Their selections of house red or white change weekly. Freddy Smalls does an Oyster of the day and their terrines vary. They are always looking to keep things fresh.
Freddy Smalls offers a late night menu and all menu items can be paired with a mimosa at midnightfor $9. The age range of patrons here varies; 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and up. They welcome everyone and are the “go to” neighborhood bar in this area. If you are looking for an intimate, super-friendly, welcoming Happy Hour in West L.A.with extraordinary food and drinks that are great value for your buck this is the place for you!
Freddy Smalls Bar & Kitchen
11520 Pico Blvd. WestLos Angeles, CA
Web site link: www.freddysmalls.com
HH Hours: Mon-Thurs. 5:30 p.m. – 1 a.m.Fri. Sat. 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Featured Wines: 24 Knots Pinot Noir, Dona Paula Malbec, Tramin Pinot Grigio, CliffordBaySauv Blanc
Featured Beers: Mama’s Little Yella Pils(ner) Oskar Blues Brewing, New York. Green Flash IPA Green Flash Brewing, California. Black Market Hefeweizen Black Market, California
Featured Mixed drinks: The Stumbling Cowboy, Pico Sour, Mayberry Smash, 5-Star Sidecar
Featured Foods: BBQ Cashews, Fried Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese, Ruben’s Gluttony (a deconstructed Rueben), New School Chicken Parm, Belgian Waffle with Bacon Butter and Bourbon Maple Syrup
Price range for drinks: $6-$12
Price range for food: $5-$18
Name of chef: Charlie Parker
Name of owner: Jeff Weinstein
Name of manager: David Fleisher