8370 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Follow Son of a Gun on Facebook
Type: Bar, Restaurant, Heaven
Category: Dinner, Drinks
Company: Foodies, Dates, Pescatarians
Quickie: Succulent plates for sharing with an emphasis on those originating from the sea.
OTC Tip: Don't even try to make reservations. Half the tables are for reserve (about 10) and the rest are left for walk-ins. Plan on waiting about an hour to eat (or more, but that's what the full bar is for) and know that the huge communal table is the best spot in the house.
It took me just fifteen seconds to simultaneously secure one of the three remaining slices of peach & berry pie with buttermilk ice cream and, at the same time, ruin another diner's night. Having just been reluctantly informed that the partial pie I had eyed from my seat at the communal table over the course of the entire evening was, already in fact, promised to other diners - I realized I had but two choices: I could sit put and think "maybe next time..." or I could rise, flirtaciously lean again the kitchen door frame and "take a picture of the pie that I won't be able to try because it was already spoken for..."
Perhaps it was the camera - or maybe it was the pout - but I didn't have to do much more: a kind dude raised an eyebrow and said "where are you sitting?" to which I pointed at the communal table - and with a quick nod, he replied "We've got you. Don't worry."
OTC TIP: SOG makes ONE pie (that's eight slices) for Friday service, and TWO (that's sixteen slices) for Saturday's service. Make sure to order a piece early and ask that they slice it and put it where you can see it.
And that great ending is just the beginning of the story about a fantastic meal. Son of a Gun, the "sea" version to Shook and Dotolo's land-focused restaurant, Animal, does things right-by-water. The full bar and impeccable service makes up for the impossibility that is the reservation, and the lighter spin on traditional Animal fare transports you from wherever you end up sitting (bar, communal table, or against the back wall) to a wharf of fresh-from-the-sea goodness.
As it has been noted, you must MUST make use of the full bar. Feeling salty, I went for a Bloody Mary (fantastic, I had two) - but can vouch for the Vesper (vodka based) and the Aviation (gin based). Like the set up at Animal, it's advised that for a dining duo you select 4-6 plates to share. It should be noted here that most everyone loves the Fried Chicken Sandwich and the Lobster Roll, but we decided to venture out and tend to some of the other plates that you haven't yet read about on yelp:
|View from head of the communal table|
2. Benton's Country Ham, honey butter, cornbread
3. Brendade, soft egg, arugula, grainy mustard
4. Cured Salmon Collars, yakitori, pink peppercorn, orange
5. Shrimp Toast Sandwich, herbs, sriracha mayo
6. Peach & Berry Pie, buttermilk ice cream
For the sake of discerning between delicious and wonderful, while all of the above was absolutely fantastic, if you go and have a chance at the same menu, you must know that the Brendade and the Shrimp Toast are both brilliant. The Brendade comes in a bowl stacked with two large crostini, and presents itself in an almost whipped form topped with the soft egg, a tangle of arugula, and a mixed smear of mustard. You will lick the bowl clean. Deal with it. The Shrimp Toast is simply brioche buttered through-and-through, toasted, and filled with drippy sriracha mayo and tiny shrimp cooked in some fashion that leaves them but a melt in your mouth. Get it. in fact, get a few.
Of course, the pie was a strong finish - a rustic crust woven over chunks of stone fruit with a boule of buttermilk ice cream (whatever dessert you get, make sure it includes the buttermilk ice cream!) which I'm sure was that much more pleasing due to having worked up an appetite to get it.
In short, Shook and Dotolo have done it again. And so will I, over and over.