If Brooklyn and Hollywood had a lovechild, I’m fairly certain it would be Mohawk Bend. I was out in LA for a work trip a little while ago, and I have to say, al dramatic hyperbole aside, Mohawk Bend is literally one of the best places I’ve eaten in an incredibly long time.
Maybe it’s just because I’m coming from New York, where everything cute and delicious is usually found in hole-in-the-wall spaces, but the main room at Mohawk Bend is huge and stunning. Maybe two stories tall, the space looks glamorous and welcoming, but also like something straight out of a blockbuster movie. If The Hills were hipster, this would’ve been the main location.
Concrete floors and brick walls give an industrial feel to the space, which is balanced by light wood tables and orangey, tufted leather chairs. Tea lights flicker in golden candleholders, a 70s touch that feels updated and cool. When you first enter in the restaurant you’ll pass through the main dining room and the bar, but the atrium is more than likely you’ll want to be seated. At the back of the space, the atrium is dominated by a huge wood burning fireplace. Flanked by two huge stacks of chopped wood, the feel is chic yet welcoming. Like that dreamy vacation home you’ve always pictured yourself having.
But enough chit chat about the space and let’s get to the food — because it’s ridiculously, insanely good.
My friends were lovely and took me here, so it was with their suggestion (and enthusiasm) that we ordered the buffalo-style cauliflower with vegan “‘bleu cheese” dressing and celery. Now, I’ll be honest — put the name of anything in quotes and call it vegan and I’m going to be skeptical. But this cauliflower was good. Insanely good. I don’t know what they put in it or how they do it, but it was cooked to perfection and gave buffalo chicken wings a run for their money. This is one option you can’t afford to not order.
On the other end of the spectrum, the spanish stuffed dates — chorizo stuffed medjool dates wrapped in bacon — were so decadent and delightful that you only needed to order one. Served warm, the dates melted just a bit and the rich, creamy texture gave way to the crispy, fatty flavor of the bacon. A perfect balance interrupted and augmented by the spicy chorizo, which was rich and flavorful and almost earthy in its palate.
For diner I decided to go with a pizza — they’re thin crust and are served on boards with side plates for sharing, but let’s be honest, once you get yours you’re maybe not going to want to share. Because I didn’t — sorry friends!
I went with the Abe Froman, which features house-made Italian sausage, fennel, roasted pepper, mozzarella, and tomato sauce. Wow. The flavors were well balance yet rich and over the top, a touch of smokiness from the wood burning oven pairing beautifully with the mozzarella and the fennel, while the roasted pepper gave just enough savory sweetness to mellow things out. And the sausage was some of the best I’ve ever had on a pizza, tasting sweet and fresh and oh so delectable.
The drinks are equally delightful, and offer a wide variety of tastes and options, all while veering towards fresh ingredients, with lots of fruits and herbs generously muddled in the mix. I went with the Midlred Pierce, which was gin, jasmine liqueur, agave nectar, brandied cherries, oranges, lemon, orange bitters, and a splash of soda. Sweet without becoming saccharine, this was the perfect accompaniment to the variety of flavors I had on my plate.
As a side note, this is Los Angeles, so this place had vegan options and versions of just about everything on the menu. Definitely worth a visit if you’re so inclined.