RYLA Resonates…Los Angeles Restaurant Review

This week I went in an entirely different direction.

Back story…I am so done with making downtown Los Angeles dinner reservations. By the time it takes to drive the 14 miles to LA proper I have already wasted 90 minutes of my life feeling frustrated and find myself compelled to throw food rather than eat it.

So I traveled south and the result was not much different, but it was a new exploration…such is traffic life in LaLaLand.

I booked a Tuesday night reservation at the hot new Hermosa Beach restaurant, RYLA.

RYLA is the latest addition to the highly successful Manhattan Beach power group, featuring MB Post, Fishing With Dynamite and The Arthur J.

Hermosa Beach is a reinvigorated beach town with parking challenges.

RYLA valets on the weekends and after circling four times I ran in and found out that you can park in  their small parking lot which initially looked full.

The restaurant, projecting a dimly lit aesthetic, was busy, but not packed.

The bar had room and that is always our go to spot.

An advantage to sitting at the bar at RYLA is that you have the option to order from both the restaurant menu as well as from the ample, appetizing well priced bar menu.

RYLA features coastal California cuisine imbued with Japanese flavors from Chef Ray Hayashi and his wife Cynthia Hetlinger who helm the kitchen.

Before opening RYLA Chef Hayashi served as Culinary R&D Chef for Manhattan Beach Post, Fishing with Dynamite and The Arthur J and Chef de Cuisine, Cynthia Hetlinger, was sous chef at the Michelin Star Los Angeles restaurant, Providence.

The well informed, personable bartender, Nicky, was very helpful in describing the menu. His recommendations were top shelf.

My husband ordered one of the unique specialty cocktails, You Only Live Twice, made with Vesper, lemon infused Haku vodka, Roku gin, Ginjo sake, Cocchi Americano and Shiso oil. He was duly impressed ($17).

I went with a 3oz Martini pour of Chopin on the rocks…did not know there are choices so I chose a Martini pour which is more plentiful than a Rock pour ($19).

We order the highly touted pull-apart Hokkaido Monkey Bread with a Tobiko Nori spread. The bread was warm and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. The spread was a tantalizing accompaniment ($9).

The White Sesame Caesar was delightfully fresh and perfectly chilled made with Little Gems lettuce, anchovy, sourdough croutons and grated parmesan ($15).

The Maryland Soft Shell Crab contains a chilled Corn Soup, melon, charred avocado, salsa macha and cilantro. The crab was lightly fried (tempura) and the chilled corn soup was dramatically poured into the beautifully plated dish. It was deliciously creative ($30).

The Black Truffle Fried Rice was excellent, comprised of Chinese sausage, egg, scallion and pickled ginger. We requested the Chinese sausage on the side and it was sweet, tender and tasty. It had a great texture ($48).

Overall, the innovative food was excellent.

One should not overlook brunch which is allegedly a delectably happening scene.

If I lived in the Hermosa or Manhattan Beach area I would definitely frequent RYLA, but as with everything in Los Angeles traffic is a serious consideration.

Ryla 1220 Hermosa Avenue Hermosa Beach, California. Open Sunday-Wednesday 5-10:00pm, Thursday-Saturday 5-10:30pm. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm. Lounge open Saturday and Sunday 2-4pm. Weekend Valet Parking and metered street parking. Reservations on OpenTable.com.

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