Mess Hall sits in an unlikely spot next to bank buildings on Hillhurst and Los Feliz near Griffith Park, with a gorgeous large outdoor dining area.
There's an oyster bar with rotating selections...
..Fun appetizers like this Steak Tartar Taco in crispy parmesan shell, escabeche ($12)
Erik Lund has come up with a fun, solid cocktail menu. Can we judge a cocktail by its name? Either way I just had to try The Hallucinogenic Whimsies of Banana Man (Campo de Encanto pisco, absinthe, banana, lime, orgeat, Peychaud's - $11), the first whiff of which definitely screams "banana"
For a good, simple salad, try the Kale Caesar, avocado, goat gouda, croutons ($10). It's a nice, healthier twist on the caesar without all that creamy dressing.
The lobster mac and cheese was rather disappointing for the price, not cheesy enough and very little lobster meat. What we did love was the Hog Chop (center cut pork chop, white cheddar grits, mustard greens, tabasco butter - $26)
It's a bit expensive, but I loved the corn on the cob with smoked tomato butter ($6).
I enjoyed all the drinks I tried here. When you order a daiquiri you can choose between unaged or aged rum. Try one with aged rum ($9). If you like strong whisky drinks try The Downtime (Between Euphoria and Bitter Disappointment) made with Islay whiskey, Cynar, Benedictine, and Regan's Orange Bitter ($14). It was closer to euphoria to me.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Disclosure: this meal was hosted