Photograph by Lisa Romerein
What draws us to Freddy Smalls, a Mexican café turned cocktail-centric American bistro, is consulting chef Jeremy Fox, who made waves in Napa with his vegetarian cooking at Ubuntu. Here, with executive chef Charlie Parker, sprouts have been abandoned for rabbit mortadella and flash-grilled steak tartare. A plate of carnivorous indulgence called Reuben’s Gluttony features corned beef brisket and bone marrow. More graceful are vegetable-based dishes like a mushroom and farro porridge in a cara-melized onion consommé and a beet and avocado salad with red quinoa, Fuyu persimmons, and pistachios. It’s the drinks that are clunky. » 11520 Pico Blvd., 310-479-3000.