Jonathan Gold Takes Echo Park's Red Hill
Jonathan Gold soaks in Red Hill's "slightly deranged farmhouse feel," deeming the pickle-lined bread and cheese plate, "crafty, folky, a bit clumsy and subtly manipulative," much like Jason Michaud's new Echo Park restaurant itself. The latter designator is best summed up by Gold's confusion over "whether a chef calling his restaurant Red Hill is expressing...fondness for lefty communalism or doing it for the same reason a college student might wear a trendy T-shirt emblazoned with Che," as they bring "quinoa salad...and beets with farro to an area better known for pupusas." Noting the abundance of fresh stuff in both the vegetarian dishes and lardo-glazed beignets, and the contradictory procession of blackened cauliflower and roasted yams caramelized in duck fat, Gold mostly notes, rather than praises, the dishes, though he spends some venom on the "gluey noodles" and mussels "tending toward rubberiness."
As for the hits here, the critic appreciates the "excellent" fries making up half of the moules-frites, and finds that a dessert of olive oil cake expresses summer in "an unexpected way." Shortly before some patron nearly falls off her three-legged stool and into his lap (maybe she thought he was Santa?), Gold saves his highest esteem for breakfast, where a menu of "evolved diner food" features blintzes and "some of the best hash browns in town."
And of course, this being Echo Park and all, the poor guy can't even write an honest review without the anti-gentrification brigade leaving nasty comments about what hardly reads like a blanket endorsement of the place.