What to Eat For Brunch and Lunch at The Pikey

By
The Pikey

This spring, two classic watering holes we hold near and dear to our hearts underwent facelifts. Tom Bergin's on Fairfax was taken over by Dominick's and Little Dom's chef Brandon Boudet with partner Warner Ebbink, resulting in a dusting-off that could hardly annoy the bar's fan-base, so closely does the reboot resemble the original. A few weeks earlier, The Pikey sprang up to replace one of Sunset's grimiest favorites, Coach & Horses, in a vastly more dramatic overhaul that now sees its neighboring Indian restaurant serving as an upscale pub while the detached bar space hums with the kind of kids that once did an about-face when confronted with the head-banging patrons of the bar's past.

Aesthetically, The Pikey casts a riveting spell; an authentic British gastro-pub strewn with keepsakes, flags, and Maharajah portraits, aside a tongue-in-cheek dining room where black-and-white photos of inked-up East Enders threaten to smack chef Ralph Johnson's roasted beet salad and market-procured greens straight outta your gob.

Both restaurants, manned by chefs of encouraging repute, stand to offer L.A. a taste of The UK's contemporary, culinary derring-do. Having paid a few visits to Bergin's, and just one to The Pikey, it's still clear that the latter goes heavier on culinary charm in these early days of existence.

Our trips to Tom's found mostly everything leading up to the steaks and salmon solidly bland despite their descriptions. Just as British and Irish food are overcoming the stereotypes that they must come strapped with dull flavors and disquieting textures, the kitchen dashed our highest hopes, earning major "mehs" for the temptingly named black pudding quail scotch eggs and a one-note cottage pie that does little for the dish's reputation.

Prior to our visit, we figured a sandwich of crispy confit pork cheeks could never go wrong (it did, starting with a thick, chewy roll we eventually cast to the side). We used to be kind of kidding when we claimed we didn't want to see the cabbage and corned beef egg-rolls disappear from Bergin's, whereas now we actually mean it. Bergin's reboot is still in its infancy, sure, but last time we checked in, the chef may as well be striving to master Shandong cooking, as exalted British and Irish cuisine is not quite yet his forte. Still, we're fans of Boudet and expect the offerings to shape up slightly in the months to come. Either way, we won't ever give up on Bergin's, even if it's just for a pint or two.

We chased a night of heavy drinking this weekend with a trip to The Pikey, where the meat market at the bar nearly drove us away before we slid into a remarkably quieter booth in the restaurant's dining room. The property looks much better than Coach & Horses ever did in our lifetime, though the crowd has seen a startling shift to a shinier, hornier demographic. Build it and they will come.

Reared on Welsh rarebit, we appreciated Ralph Johnson's earnest, if not quite crucial, take on the rich, saucy snack, while the buttery notes in a plate of ideally charred squid with chickpeas quickly won us over (though there wasn't enough of it).

The chef's fish 'n chips arrived as one hulking piece of fried bait, a golden shell with the airy stratum of a chile relleno breaking with a nearly audible crack to reveal a gleaming piece of juicy rock cod inside. The fish was sublime, the fries inedible (we ate most of them them anyway), while everything we tasted through our Black Butte porters breathed a vitality and bloom that made us curious to work our way through more of the menu, which includes burrata with English pea bruschetta, Arctic char crudo, vinegar chicken, vankaya curry, and a burger with cheddar and Worchestershire aioli.

Opportunities to eat up The Pikey's output are tripling, as owner Jared Meisler reaches out to tell us that the restaurant has just started serving lunch and brunch, featuring a few new examples of Johnson's organic, local, free-range meats, self-cured bacon and handmade sausage, and the pastries he makes himself (starting with crumpets with honeycomb and clotted cream!).

Brunch is served 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. on weekends and lunch is available Monday through Friday from 11:45 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Check out both menus below.

The Pikey

Brunch

HOUSE MADE PASTRY

Crumpets with Honeycomb & Clotted Cream 4

Brioche French Toast
with Stone Fruit & Crème Fraiche 11

Stack of Ricotta Pancakes
with Maple Butter & Whipped Cream 9

EGGS
Cured Arctic Char with Scrambled Eggs, Biscuit & Hollandaise 14

Egg in the Hole
with House Smoked Bacon & 100% Pure Maple Syrup 12

Frittata with Market Greens & Sheep’s Milk Ricotta 12

Curry on Toast
with a Fried Duck Egg 10

Fried Eggs, Pork Sausage, Bacon, Beans, Roasted Tomato & Mushroom with Grilled Toast 13

SALAD
Bibb Salad with Radishes, Snap Peas & Prosciutto 14

Market Salad
with Pressed Ricotta 10

Roasted Beets
with Feta & Hazelnuts 11

Romaine Salad
with Roasted Chicken, Hard Boiled Egg & Green Goddess Dressing 14

Small Plates

Seasonal Fruit
with Shaved Ice & Prosecco 11

Oysters on the Half Shell
Each 3, ½ Dozen 15

Pickled Vegetables 5

Potted Chicken Liver 5

Smoked Bar Nuts 4

Soup of the Day 8

Burratta
with Grilled Asparagus 11

Large Plates
Garganelli with Crushed Heirloom Tomatoes & Pinenut Breadcrumbs 13

Char-Grilled Beef Burger
with Bandaged Cheddar, Tomato & Worcestershire Aioli 14

Slow Roasted Pork Belly Sandwich
with Horse Raddish Cream, Cornichons & Watercress 13

Fish & Chips
with Romaine & Tartar Sauce 15

Grilled Mary’s Chicken
with Salsa Verde & Shaved Fennel 16

SIDES
Home Made Biscuits with Maple Butter 4
House Smoked Bacon 5
Broccoli Rabe with Salsa Rosso 6
Thrice Cooked Chips 5

Lunch

Small Plates

Oysters on the Half Shell
Each 3, ½ Dozen 15

Pickled Vegetables 5

Potted Chicken Liver 5

Smoked Bar Nuts 4

Soup of the Day 8

Burratta
with Grilled Asparagus 11

SALAD

Bibb Salad
with Radishes, Snap Peas & Prosciutto 14

Romaine Salad
with Roasted Chicken, Hard Boiled Egg & Green Goddess Dressing 14
Market Salad with Pressed Ricotta 10

Roasted Beet Salad
with Feta & Hazelnuts 11

Large Plates

Garganelli with Crushed
Heirloom Tomatoes & Pinenut Breadcrumbs 13

Eggplant, Tomato & Lentil Curry
with Punjabi Cornbread 13

Char-Grilled Beef Burger
with Bandaged Cheddar, Tomato & Worcestershire Aioli 12.50

Slow Roasted Pork Belly Sandwich
with Horse Raddish Cream, Cornichon & Watercress 13

Fish & Chips
with Romaine & Tartar Sauce 14

Grilled Mary’s Chicken
with Salsa Verde & Shaved Fennel 16

SIDES
Cheesy Mashed Potato 5
Creamed Spinach 5
Broccoli Rabe with Salsa Rosso 6
Thrice Cooked Chips 5