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Gorbals, The

EatLA-1685

WHY An eccentric Jewish-Scottish hipster spot that’s surprisingly affordable given the celebrity status of the chef—the most expensive dish is $15.

WHAT Helmed by Top Chef winner Ilan Hall, the Gorbals is anything but flashy—an almost-barren candlelit room tucked into the aging Alexandria Hotel, now used for affordable housing. The small menu draws inspiration from Hall’s Scottish and Jewish heritage but isn’t defined by a genre. Tongue-in-cheek dishes include tiny bacon-wrapped matzo balls (the bacon overwhelms the matzo) and tender Manischewitz-braised pork belly. Overly salty butternut squash latkes are paired with fluffy chestnut foam. Too many dishes bounce between being bland (the latkes) and intense (the smoky, spicy-hot brisket), but the smoked salmon hits it right. A small California wine list and decent Scotch selection keeps drinkers happy.

WHO Couples on the early side and stylish young folks who waltz in a bit later to take over one of the communal tables.

501 S. Spring St., , 213.488.3408, thegorbalsla.com. D Mon.-Sat. MC, V, AE.
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