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The Parish: Downtown LA's Newest Gastropub

The Tasting Kitchen team opens a casual eatery, with local craft beer, classic cocktails and English-inspired dishes in a historic L.A. setting.

If you're a foodie, then you're probably aware that the opening of The Parish (with Chef Casey Lane of The Tasting Kitchen in Venice) has been one of the most anticipated openings in town. Rest assured, Lane delivers good grub with fresh, seasonal ingredients, often using a Tuscan wood-fire grill, and butchers and cures everything in-house. Here, the three-time James Beard Award nominee takes an innovative approach to modern pub fare.

The Parish is located in the Fashion District and housed in a flat iron building, with an architectural style reminiscent of the 1930s. Designed by Bishop Pass, elements such as reclaimed wood floors, antique glass windows and iron sconces invoke a vintage vibe. The split-level space has both indoor and outdoor seating with a sleek bar and a more formal dining room upstairs.

Lane wants patrons to appreciate the gastropub as it was meant to be enjoyed: with good food, drink, and conversation. "The pub is traditionally a communal meeting ground, and at the end of the day, I hope guests will come away from The Parish having had a very lively and fulfilling experience," he says.

Highlights from the menu include: Marrow with Celery Root Salad; Clams with Leeks, Sherry, Saffron and Toast; Grilled Corn with Honeycomb Butter; Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Heirloom Tomatoes and Arugula; and, my personal favorite, Ricotta, Peas and Salsa Verde on Brioche (the best bread ever). Be sure and order the traditional British dessert, Sticky Toffee Pudding, which is neither too sticky nor too sweet and absolutely scrumptious with a touch of ginger.

Bar Manager John Coltharp, of Seven Grand Whisky Bar and Caña Rum Bar fame, adds a twist to 14 classic cocktails, each with its own distinct ice cube (a reverse osmosis ice-making system on-site is used to create specifically designed ice cubes). The Real McCoy, served over crushed ice, is the house variation of a Mai Tai, featuring two rums combined with fresh citrus and locally made Orgeat, an almond-orange flower water syrup. For a bright and refreshing drink, try the Fresh Gin Gimlet with Plymouth gin, fresh lime juice and a hint of sugar or the Russian Tulip with vodka, fresh lemon juice, grenadine and bitters.

The beer selection at The Parish includes 20 rotating taps of craft beers from Los Angeles and Orange County that change with the seasons and availability. A selection of year-round beers include Strand Brewing Beach House Amber Ale, Bootlegger's Brewery Wildfire Wheat Smoked Ale, Monkish Brewing Feminist hibiscus-infused Tripel, and Eagle Rock Brewing Solidarity Black Mild—which also appears in some of Lane's menu items. A fine collection of European Rieslings is also available.

Related: Best Homegrown Craft Beers in Los Angeles

"We want to pay homage to old Los Angeles and how vibrant and active this town was in the 1920s and '30s," say Mark Meyuhas and Bruce Horwitz, co-owners of The Parish, The Tasting Kitchen, and forthcoming Itri (opening fall 2012 in West Hollywood). "We're excited to give this community a casual, upfront dining experience with an imaginative menu in an evocative setting and really dynamic food that elevates pub-style classics to a whole new level."

The Parish serves dinner nightly (5:30 PM – 12:30 PM) and has plans to introduce breakfast in the coming months, with house-made biscuits, pastries, beignets, and desserts from The Tasting Kitchen's Pastry Chef, Brooke Mosley, as well as a coffee program featuring Handsome Coffee. Note, the bar is open from 5 PM – 2 AM.

Liz Laing is a writer, web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on Liz Laing.

(Photo credit: Longrada Lor)

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