The Pikey Café & Bar is located in Hollywood and opened its doors on Easter Weekend 2012. They occupy the old location of the Horse & Carriage, an old style British pub that was long past its time.
The Pikey has picked up the torch and I have to say, Los Angeles has a proper English Pub with nothing that you could not want. The menu is peppered with House Made Pastry, Eggs, Salads, Small Plates, Large Plates and side orders. What’s a treat is in the kitchen Chef Ralph Johnson from the Spotted Pig in New York running the kitchen at The Pikey.
The food is English in nature, but has that California freshness to it. The food artsy of the English are unmatched in my personal opinion. I was blessed to be co-raised by my mother’s English mother (my grandmother) who was a very talented artist and gastronomic expert. I remember stories of many who wanted to open a restaurant with her in the kitchen, but only my grandfather and family were blessed to eat her amazing food, so I know what the power of a great English Cook can do first hand.
Today I’m reviewing the Char-Grilled Beef Burger with Bandaged Cheddar, Tomato & Worchestershire Aioli.
I know it must be strange to order a burger at a English Pub, but on Father’s Day 2012 I’ve already had the tasty pleasure of consuming if not devouring their Fish & Chips with Romaine & Tartar Sauce. The portion of Rock Cod was plentiful. Just that perfect batter, crisp to the taste with the fish within, bright white, light and fluffy that just melted when my fork touched it and the seasoned chips were delicious.
Upon receiving the plate for lunch, I was presented with this wonderful simple plating of a burger on a Challah Bun from Eliat Bakery that was so soft, if I didn’t have a burger, I would have asked for a side of preserves and that would have been dessert! The ground beef came made to order well done, the Bandaged Cheddar was thinly sliced to perfection, as this cheese can be over powering if you use too much (as so many have done before).
The first bite, the Challah bun melted in my mouth and my taste buds were instantly greeted with the Worcestershire Aioli sauce then the meat. To my surprise the tomato was a perfect balance of firmness yet it melted. Overall I’m not a fan of tomatoes in a restaurant as people never take the time to properly prep them to be used and always leave a metallic taste in my mouth but not this one, Chef Ralph Johnson not only properly prepared it to be consumed, he might actually make me a fan of tomatoes in a restaurant once again. The finish, the after taste once you swallowed this delicious burger was the Bandage Cheddar, it danced in my mouth like a reel you would hear at a pub one late night.
The chips are superb! I found out that they are hand cut and are cooked only a culinary genius would do, a technique that requires you to blanch the potatoes, quick fry before they hit the deep fryer. What you get is a perfect chip that holds its form when dipping and eating. They have a balance of crispy on the outside, slightly crunchy on the edges and yet soft and supple within. They also come pre-seasoned with a balance of salt & spices that honestly rarely need anything on them. Since I was feeling very English, I asked for a small portion of mayo, but what they brought me was something else altogether. A mustard & Aioli blend that frankly they should bottle and sell as a side condiment.
Overall, I give the burger an A and that’s saying a lot for a British Pub that’s running a gastronomic kitchen! I know when you come to a pub, a burger generally is the last thing you would think to order. I’ve eaten my fair share of burgers being a native to the Los Angeles area, and for $14.00 you get more then your money’s worth for lunch. I have to say I’m quite content that even thou I have room for dessert, it’s truly not necessary (and that’s saying something)!
Do yourself a favor, on the weekends, they’re open for brunch, weekdays they’re open for lunch, and every night they’re open for dinner seven days a week. Last call for dinner is 1:30 a.m. so those of you in the studios, this is an idea place to hit after a long day at work.
Our next article will be about the Pikey’s Bar, there’s so much to talk about, and I have to split this article in two!
Remember, enjoy life & eat well,