Drink, Eat, Gary Fong, Los Angeles, USA — January 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm






LOS ANGELES – According to the dictionary, a foodie is “a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet.”

Let me state upfront that this is not me.  I am not a foodie.  Yes, I do enjoy eating out, have done countless boring (and quickly forgotten) business dinners at this or that fancy restaurant, and will admit to watching way too much of the Food Network…but I’ll never be a member of the foodie club.  I just can’t seem to get excited over the prospect of dining at the latest must-try, high-end restaurant, unlike my foodie friends who seem to swoon at mere thought.  Believe me, I try but it never seems to work out that way.  You see, fine dining just doesn’t do it for me.  The truth is, I love unrefined, everyman’s food.  Maybe it has to do with the hype — fine dining comes with too expectations and never seems to deliver.  On the other hand, everyman’s food comes with no expectations and, so, tends to over deliver.  Whatever the reason, I’ll always opt a nice rare steak frites (with some good Dijon on the side) over an expensive cut of wagyu or kobe and coffee from the corner bodega rather than the nearest Starbucks.  (Side note:  this does not apply to spirits and cocktails…I’m an absolute pushover for a great single malt and a well made, very dry gin martini).

So, where do I go for my everyman’s food?  Well if I’m in LA, I try to make it out to the Hudson House, which is this great little gastro pub out in Redondo Beach. They serve these killer garlic truffle cheese fries, which are truly some of the best I’ve had…insanely tasty, totally decadent and surprisingly addictive.  Nothing fancy – just a nachos-sized mound of shoestring cut fries (that’s pommes pailles-style for you foodies) sprinkled with bits of what seems like a sharp white cheddar and drizzled with garlic truffle oil – pub food for the most part but just super delish.  The one downside is that the garlic truffle cheese fries are only served as a side dish to a rather average skirt steak (teriyaki, I think).  But – once I get a taste of those fries – all else ceases to matter.

In addition to the fries, Hudson House also serves an assortment of other ‘everyman’ dishes, including a Cuban-style pulled pork sandwich, a turkey and brie Rueben, and a slow-roasted plum tomatoes with burrata cheese dish, which my friends rave about and insisted I mention (for me, it’s always about the fries).  There’s also a pretty good bar, with a nice selection of spirits and beers, including a namesake’s micro brew and a ‘happiest hour’ where you can get a $3 pint of their Hudson pale ale or $4 margaritas.

What’s the little thing?  Without question, Hudson House’s garlic truffle cheese fries…gourmet food for the everyman!

Where is it?  Hudson House is located at 514 N. Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach (Tel:  310.798.9183) and is open everyday (from 3pm Mon-Thu; 5pm on Fri-Sun).  Try to avoid peak times – crowds have dwindled since David LeFevre’s foodie-magnet, MB Post, opened in neighboring Manhattan Beach but Hudson can still get quite busy.

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Photos:  Skeet McCain

Author:  Gary Fong


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