Infatuation west coast may still be a ways away, but it’s time Son Of A Gun joined it’s older brother, Animal, as the only two LA restaurants with proper Immaculate reviews. We’ve been doing a lot of LA eating lately, and while there are definitely some good spots, many big buzz restaurants like A Frame and The Lazy Ox have let us down. But that’s not the case with Son Of A Gun. This place is amazing, even by NYC standards.
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the dudes behind both Animal and Son Of A Gun, are our kind of people. They are two college friends, whose agressive, uncompromising kitchen work has earned praise from GQ to The New York Times and Food & Wine to NPR. These guys are operating on as high a level as anyone in the game right now. Like Jay-Z once said on “Can I Live,” he’d rather “die enormous than live dormant” and that’s exactly the mentailty at work here. Nothing puts artery clogging mastery on display quite like the Son Of A Gun fried chicken sandwich, possibly the best sandwich you’ll ever eat. More on that below, as well as some of our other favorites: shrimp toast and king crab leg with tobasco butter.
What kind of restaurant is Son Of A Gun? Think Freemans if it was on a submarine and serving small plates crossed with a more modern version of Maison Premiere. The crowd is as cool as any I’ve ever seen at a restaurant in LA. Less biz types, more creative types. The fact is, everyone who’s coming here is coming for the food, not the scene, and that seems to be a rarity out here. Half of the small restaurant is made available for reservations, with the other half, a big communal table, open for walk-ins. We’ve now been twice during prime time without a res and only had to wait a maximum of 15 minutes. We like that.
There’s a lot to hate on LA for – the people, the traffic, the Lakers, the rampant drinking and driving – but, at least this time, you can’t hate on the restaurant scene.
Photo Credit: Eater/Elizabeth Daniels
Fried Chicken Sandwich
These photos (take 1, take 2) don’t do this sandwich justice, but trust us – this is one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever bite into. You’ll find a healthy portion of crispy, juicy chicken smothered in a delicious spicy slaw with pickles and jalapeños. Ridiculous.
These two bite lobster roll sliders were as close to perfection as you can get – creamy, rich lobster salad with celery and lemon aioli atop a toasted mini brioche bun. Go for it.
Shrimp Toast Sandwich
The fried chicken sandwich may be the best thing on the menu, but the best single bite belongs to the shrimp toast sandwich. I’m not even a huge shrimp fan myself, and I thought this was incredible. You need this very very badly.
King Crab Leg with Tobasco Butter
“Are you f*cking kidding me?” That’s a direct quote from my buddy after taking a bite of this. It tastes even better than it sounds (if that’s possible). Check out the pic and don’t even think about skipping this just because it costs $26. This thing is mandatory.
If there’s alligator on the menu, you best believe we’ll be ordering it. While this didn’t blow us away like the gator we had down at Cochon in New Orleans, it was pretty damn good.
Soft Shell Crab
Check it out, that’s not a bad situation to get into. When in season, you really can’t go wrong with soft shells. Especially when they’re fried and served with pickled green tomato and bacon.
OK, the catfish was good, but it was the gold rice succotash with corn and peas, mixed in with tobasco butter and king crab which made this dish other worldly. That succotash could make fried catfish from KFC incredible.
Linguine and Clams
Of all the dishes we’ve tried at Son Of A Gun, this was the least impressive. It’s a tiny portion, probably because it’s so incredibly rich. The pasta isn’t great, the clams don’t add much. Pass on this one.