Union Square Café Vet Opens Gram & Papa’s in Fashion District [CLOSED]

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Restaurant Los Angeles

Mike Ilic becomes a forerunner in the DTLA Fashion District by honoring his grandparents.

Mike Ilic opened Gram & Papa’s in downtown L.A.’s Fashion District on Monday, September 8, specializing in “slow food, fast.” Ilic grew up calling his mother’s parents “Gram” and “Papa” and wanted to pay tribute to the time he spent at their house. “I want to offer the hospitality I got at my grandparents’ house,” says Ilic. “I knew the food would be good, I’d be looked after, in good hands. Regardless of what we’re serving, [I want to] provide that sense.”

Ilic knows hospitality. Not only did the Chicago native absorb his grandparents’ lessons on the subject, he also worked for several years as Maitre ‘d at Union Square Café for Danny Meyer, a man who literally wrote the book on hospitality. After leaving Union Square Café, Ilic transitioned across the park to work for Todd English at Olives, as General Manager. He moved to Los Angeles and worked briefly as Table 8’s General Manager before launching his own restaurant. Ilic discovered the Fashion District because his brother and friends work there.

Gram & Papa’s blackboard menu touts seasonal sandwiches and salads. Here are some recent selections:

Reel Tuna ($11.95) – house poached tuna salad, Kenter Farm premium mix, Vidalia onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and Dijon vinaigrette
Gram & Papa’s Chopped ($9.95) – house roasted turkey breast, Kenter Farm premium mix, carrots, beets, goat cheese, dried sour cherries, candied walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette

Shrimp Po’ Boy ($8.25) – fried shrimp, spicy remoulade and cabbage on ciabatta
Prosciutto ($8.25) – bufala mozzarella, San Daniele prosciutto and balsamic glaze on pressed ciabatta

Customers also have the option to build a Custom Salad ($6.95 base). It costs $4 more for flat iron steak, $2 more for house-roasted turkey $3 more for prosciutto and $0.75 more for Jarlsberg. Select lettuce (arugula, for example), four ingredients (green beans, crispy fried onions, sugar snap peas, beets) and dressing (yuzu-lime vinaigrette).

Sides consist of cole slaw, pecan mushroom salad and red bliss potato salad. For dessert, Gram & Papa’s offers house made rice pudding ($3.50).


Joshua Lurie

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

Blog Comments

I travel to Los Angeles to shop for fabric. Have been for several years. I was very happy to find this place. Normally the only option is the crummy fast food. This was fresh, delicious and served in a clean environment. Great addition to the neighborhood!

just came back. the shrimp po’ boy had really small portions and the turkey burger salad was underwhelming at best even though it was claimed as one of the brothers’ favorites. At that price point, there should be better execution. hopefully it’s just an early mishap.

shrimp po’ boy sounds delicious.

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