At Etta, the new restaurant in the Shay, a soon-to-open hotel, there’s a $65 menu item named “Porrón & a Polaroid.” It involves an entire bottle of wine (or the equivalent in margaritas) poured into a thin-spouted pitcher known as a porrón, plus a fully loaded Polaroid camera. Guests can pour the wine from the pitcher directly into one another’s mouths while documenting the hilarity.
On a recent Friday night, not one but two tables ordered the experience. As the booze flowed, the separate groups merged their parties. “All of a sudden, there was, like, a whole section of everybody celebrating some kind of celebration,” recalls chef Danny Grant.
With a sprawling patio, lengthy menu, and various party tricks (the restaurant calls them “moments”), Etta is primed for good times in rapidly developing Culver City. You can go big and order a $155 whole grilled lobster stuffed with shrimp, king crab, “& love” for the table, making wraps with a tower of flatbread, lettuce cups, and sauces. For dessert, there are shots of tequila and coffee topped with rainbow-sprinkled shortbread cookies.
“If we want to get wild, we can,” Grant says.
But if you want to pop in alone for just a bowl of pasta at the bar ($22 to $50) or come with a friend on a Tuesday and split a pizza ($21 to $27), Etta also fits the bill.
This is the third location for the restaurant; Grant and his partner have two phenomenally popular outposts in Chicago, and a West Hollywood location is planned for 2023.
Grant says Angelenos are surprising him with their appetites. L.A customers order twice as many of the hearty $120 short-rib dishes each night as they do in the Midwest.
“I love L.A.,” he says. “I love the people.”
Etta, 8801 Washington Blvd., Culver City.
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