I am so excited to write the review on Hinterland for so many different reasons. First of all, when I think about California food I think fresh, green, healthy, light, and creative. Hinterland embodies all of these things. Second, Hinterland like it or not, is owned by someone famous who – and this should be pointed out – is not the chef. Third, Hinterland is located in one of the most appealing parts of LA. Let me expand on all three of these things. But let me start with point #2.
It should be noted that when an owner of a restaurant is not the chef, you can be certain that there will be a disconnect between the front and back of the house. The owner strives for certain fundamentals while naturally the chef has his/her own course of actions. But Hinterland seems to be a very organized, very fluid, very natural restaurant where the front of house pushes for the customer to eat exactly what they are craving, and the back of house strives to fulfill this demand. Sorry for the run-on sentence. It is a bold thought.
I dont actually know who the chef of Hinterland is but I can tell you that (now focusing on Point #1) the menu embodies the epitome of California. The menu is simple but tantalizing; small but interesting. The ingredients can be listed on my ten fingers but the combination/flavor profiles are bold. And the ingredients are fresh, green, healthy, light and creative.
Ok I lied. I did read up on who the chef is but while that in itself is noteworthy, it is also equally noteworthy that Joe himself may be seen in the restaurant which echoes full reign for this particular chef. And good thing too because what I have seen so far is sure to bring me back, several times in fact.
The location allows for this restaurant to be very coastal – open concept, clean table tops and simple materials like black leather, white walls, and an oak bar top. Contrary to what I might have first thought as per point #2 this restaurant really is about the food. Thus you may not choose Hinterland as your late night location but it certainly is a great place to start off the night. And the traffic in this area certainly does cater to walk-ins.
The service was impeccable. Not much to say other than that. Friendly, helpful staff who evidently love the food themselves and that resonates in their recommendations. I do know that Hinterland is still new, and I will say I am excited to see how it will evolve over time.