Dunsmoor Brings the Slow Burn of “Heritage Cookery” to Glassell Park

Brian Dunsmoor’s eponymous Glassell Park eatery serves up modern American classics with an old-world sizzle

MY INTEREST in American food, historically, ends when you hit the Gilded Age, before machines and mass production,” says chef Brian Dunsmoor. “We don’t use any processed foods because we try to work within the limitations from back then.” This culinary ethos is the driving force behind the chef’s new namesake Glassell Park restaurant, Dunsmoor, where his devotion to preindustrial “heritage cookery” is on full display and activity centers on a wood-fired hearth.

But walking into Dunsmoor’s restaurant is hardly like entering a time machine. The open-plan design feels fresh and modern while still honoring the Spanish Revival building’s nearly century-old bones. The open hearth and wood-burning oven are built into a wall in front of the chef’s counter, which serves as a sort of main stage, perpendicular to long communal tables dressed with dripping candelabras.

Dunsmoor, born and raised in Georgia, became known for his Southern-influenced, history-inspired cooking on L.A.’s Westside, first at his touted pop-up, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing and later at the Hart & the Hunter and Hatchet Hall. With this Eastside endeavor, he is exploring regional American food. The menu begins with small plates, such as albacore crudo, thinly sliced and served with a slightly sweet ginger relish and shallots. A chopped chicken liver with bacon, rosemary, and onion preserves is wholly satisfying. The sour milk cornbread, made with white cheddar and green chilis, is topped with a decadent dollop of salted butter and honey. Larger plates, like the maple-smoked salmon with pickled beet salad and the beef rib eye with smoked bone marrow, are big enough to share.

Despite some anti-gentrification demonstrations early on, since its opening, the restaurant has welcomed a steady flow of patrons, who pack the dining room nightly and make their way into the adjacent bar, where sommelier Taylor Parsons’s wine list dazzles.

“We have massive neighborhood support and so many local regulars,” says Dunsmoor, who has proudly called himself an Eastsider for the last seven years. “We want to cook for the people we live amongst. This side of town is our home.”

3501 Eagle Rock Blvd., Glassell Park

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