Hatfield’s: More Gastronomy Than Glitz on Melrose at 2.0 [CLOSED]

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Restaurant Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, there are limits to just how fancy restaurateurs are able to push fine dining. There’s no longer demand for grand palaces like L’Orangerie. Instead, people flock to places like The Bazaar, which delivers just as much glitz as gastronomy. On Melrose, Karen and Quinn Hatfield seem to have struck just the right balance, offering inventive, high-value food in a refined setting.

The original Hatfield’s captured the imagination of bloggers and foodies in a small space on Beverly Boulevard that’s now occupied by Mark Gold’s Eva. However, such a small space couldn’t contain the Hatfields’ ambitions, so last year, the couple left Beverly for Melrose, occupying the former home of (most famously) Citrus and (most recently) Red Pearl Kitchen. Karen and Quinn Hatfield are no doubt looking to achieve the former’s lasting impact. The restaurant’s publicist recently invited me to experience the restaurant, which came as a surprise, since the Hatfields already had such a good track record and reputation. Of course, a larger venue brings larger expectations.

To transform the space, the Hatfields enlisted designer Alexis Readinger of Preen, who created a stately but approachable dining room. Prominent Hatfield’s features include a honeycomb like lantern, a horseshoe shaped bar and a versatile patio with a living wall that will no doubt grow popular in warmer months.

Restaurant Los Angeles
Still, the focus inevitably turns to the glass-fronted open kitchen, where Quinn Hatfield presides over a team of toques, serving as the last line of defense.

Hatfield’s features a compact menu of 7 appetizers and 6 entrees, with a four-course SEASONAL PRIX FIXE for $59 and a three-course VEGETARIAN PRIX FIXE for $49. Since almost every dish on the menu was tempting, we ordered the SEASONAL PRIX FIXE for variety and value’s sake, then added two supplements.

Seafood Los Angeles
Hatfield’s Amuse Bouche consisted of diced yellowtail accented with curry and lime, topped with diced sweet potato. This small taste hinted at the globally-influenced meal to come.

Cocktail Los Angeles
One new addition to Hatfield’s 2.0 is Peter Birmingham, an accomplished sommelier previously with restaurants like Norman’s, Il Grano, and most recently, Santa Monica’s Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar. Birmingham also regularly consults on cocktail menus, and he’s worked with the Hatfields to refine their cocktail program. The Hatfields already focused on cocktails in the old location, but on Melrose they have room to play. One current success is the Candied Kumquat Mojito ($11), a variation on the Cuban classic, made with 10 Cane Virgin Rum, pineapple, smashed kumquat, lime and mint. The mojito teetered on the edge of the sweetness cliff, but managed to find a tart, acidic balance. The Winter Bellini ($9) didn’t fare quite as well, with rhubarb puree muting the effervescent Prosecco frizzante.

Bread Los Angeles
There was nothing muted about the warm, pull-apart ciabatta, which appeared with a rich slab of French butter that was sprinkled with sea salt and chives.

Seafood Los Angeles
The Hatfields’ Croque Madame ($14) is a knockout signature dish, with twin discs of buttery grilled brioche sandwiching prosciutto and silky yellowtail sashimi bathed in frothy Mornay sauce. Up top is a tiny sunny side up quail egg with a rich yolk that washed over the brioche with a light tap of the fork. Birmingham’s pairing was Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne, which delivered an effervescence that helped cut the dish’s richness.

Soup Los Angeles
Celery Root Soup (normally $11) was the night’s only major letdown, an overly earthy soup accented by a central thatch of pork confit, masala spiced pumpkin and compressed cucumber. The soup could have used more of a textural contrast. Maybe if the pork was crispier.



Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

very true Josh, that is where the reference comes from. I agree that this version of Hatfield’s is better than the last, if only because the ambiance is better (the other one was quaint), and the kitchen is more able to produce a wider variety of excellent dishes. my take is on the way…

Nice review, my sentiments are nearly reflected in your words and thoughts. I hope it isn’t called Hatfield’s 2.0 because that implies a sort of pop-up thing. I hope Hatfield’s stays at this location for a long time and commemorates its history as the original Citrus location.

Matt, I didn’t mean to imply anything negative with the 2.0 reference. In the software world, where the 2.0, 3.0 references came from, it implies a fine-tuned or improved version of the original.

Can’t wait to try 2.0!

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