A meal on the patio at the aptly-named The Front Yard feels less like dining at a restaurant and more like gathering at the home of your friend who has the best patio (and happens to be the best chef, too). The dining destination at The Garland hotel in North Hollywood dishes up an elevated spin on traditional dishes and a creative cocktail menu, to boot.
Don’t get us wrong; the interior of The Front Yard is beautiful. The space, that is flanked by a large bar, is accented with rich jewel tones, stunning tilework, moody lighting and macrame wallcoverings. However, the outdoor seating area is magical. Like a fairytale garden with lots of flora and fauna, twinkle lights, fireplaces and both traditional dining tables and, for a more loungelike feel, ornate loveseats.
Fortunately, the food and drink meet the standard that the atmosphere sets. A great way to begin is with a cocktail, and the Cucumber Press, with gin, lime juice, cilantro, cucumber and St. Germaine, is summer in a glass. For a herb-forward sip, our pick is the Blackberry Sage Shrub, with vodka, St. Germaine, Bitter Truth violet liqueur and lime.
Though there are many tempting entrees, ranging from pan-roasted branzino to short rib pot pie, we recommend getting several of the smaller plates to share with friends as there are simply too many tasty dishes to pass up. A summery standout is the compressed strawberry and cucumber salad, featuring none other than famed Harry’s Berries. Goat cheese fondant, pistachio and arugula add a salt-and-peppery finish.
The broccolini and roasted garlic flatbread offers a kick with the addition of chili paste, and sweetness, thanks to balsamic honey. If heat is your thing, the charred shishito peppers bring a lot of it.
The seafood small plates are divine, including the shrimp and jalapeno grits, with a smoky bacon pipérade, and the grilled octopus with green mussels (though, really, there is nothing “small plates” about the sizable octopus dish).
Though you can never go wrong with biscuits, The Front Yard’s 12-Minute cheese biscuits are some of the best we have ever had. The star of the show? The accompanying whipped honey butter. The warm, craggily-edged biscuits, topped with the air-light butter, is a treat before we even think about dessert.
The biscuits are also on display in The Front Yard’s beautiful strawberry-shortcake dessert, with ruby-red macerated strawberries, whipped cream and a scoop of strawberry ice cream. And for the kiddos–or kids at heart–the trio of ice cream sandwiches offers a nostalgic and delicious way to end the evening.
The Front Yard is open all week long for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner as well as for weekend brunch. To learn more, visit www.thefrontyardla.com.