Monday, October 24, 2016

The bar and grill – Highland Park style

Chicken Wings, Highland Park

Photo by Valentina Silva

By Valentina Silva
Cocktail, Highland Park

Photo by Valentina Silva

HIGHLAND PARK — While York Boulevard is evolving at neck-breaking speed, Highland Park’s other main drag, Figueroa Street, has seen slower change. Still, along with some of the best carnitas and juice places in town, new concepts have steadily emerged on Fig—Good Girl Dinette has been around for five years now, Little Cave turned into La Cuevita, there’s a legit creperie, and as of this summer, there’s even a solid vegan restaurant. You can also add to the list of newcomers The Greyhound, which introduces another category to the strip: a corner bar and grill, complete with a full food menu, 20 beers on tap, and some excellent cocktails.

The space, itself, all dark wood, brick and vintages touches, is airy and inviting. There are cozy booths to sink into and plenty of natural light, making it the perfect casual hangout for a weekend afternoon when the crowd is minimal—the nights are much more of a scene, if that’s what you’re looking for. Put simply, it’s a neighborhood bar with a mixed crowd of the usual Highland Park suspects–young and old, hipster and not hipster, long-time residents and newcomers. It’s even family appropriate until around 7.

Foodwise, the fare is somewhere in between pub and gastropub. Sure, the salads are elevated with candied pumpkin seeds and grapefruit vinaigrette (lots of grapefruit touches here to keep with the Greyhound theme) and, yes, pork belly is available, but then again, there’s the Loaded Fries, smothered in cheese, bacon and sour cream, which will pair well with most any beer. You’ll also find fourteen variations of chicken wings, ranging from Hunan BBQ to Judgement Day (meaning exceptionally spicy), served by the pound and classically accessorized with carrots, celery and a ranch-like dressing. The Ginger Spice are particularly tasty.

A menu highlight is The Greyhound Burger, a juicy mix of three types of meat on soft buttered bun (that’s not brioche) blanketed in a melted slice of shiny American cheese. Unpretentious, for sure, and undeniably delicious. Of course, a good burger makes perfect sense since one of the guys behind The Greyhound was an original partner in Father’s Office. On the meaty flipside are the less successful Steak Nuggets, chunks of marinated steak served with sriracha and crostini. The dish came out exactly as advertised, but there just wasn’t enough flavor to make it a compelling snack-y dish.

The drinks, however, don’t miss. Mateo’s Greyhound uses Plymouth Gin and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice with well-balanced results while the Hippie Flip is a free-spirited mix of tequila, Cielo Roja bacanora, lime and Fresca. They also riff on the classic with a eponymous martini made with Lillet Blanc and grapefruit bitters. Beer lovers, who aren’t necessarily beer nerds, will appreciate that the extensive beer menu is helpfully broken into categories, like “Clean & Crisp” and “Fruity, Sour, Funky.” The selection features plenty of local brews, plus all the Belgians you could ask for.  And if you want to end the night right, try a sip from The Greyhound’s treasury of digestivos—they’ve got an impressive collection that boasts some real rarities.


The Greyhound Bar & Grill
5570 N Figueroa St, 90042

Burgers, Highland Park

Photo by Valentina Silva

salad, Highland Park

Photo by Valentina Silva

Photo by Valentina Silva

Cocktails, Highland Park

Photo by Valentina Silva

Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.

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  1. This post failed to mention the food at the Greyhound is atrocious.

    • lizz,

      Valentina would never tell you the food is as bad as it actually is. That’s not her MO. Not as long as she has restaurants giving her glad hands and free grub. If you can find an even remotely bad review she’s ever written about some pseudo-hipster restaurant in the latest gentrified part of town, I’ll buy you a Frankfurter. And I remember when Frankfurters cost a nickel.

      Bah Baaaaaaaaaah, little hipster sheep.

  2. Breakfast at Good Girl Dinette: ORDER THE PIES; ORDER THE PIES; ORDER THE PIES. The pies there are really good.

  3. Greyhound is a very nice looking joint with great beer, cocktails, idiosyncratic wines and a friendly staff. While it’s true that the food isn’t very good, the establishment is miles better than anything on Figueroa.

  4. Even zestier than the crappy food are the DJs they had one mid week night I stopped in there. It was a beautiful early summer evening and as we took to our table to enjoy a beer and have a nice chat these two schmo DJs set up by the bar started BLASTING the worst dance crap I can remember hearing since Skrillex left the neighborhood. I’m used to loud music but it was insane the volume they were playing for a small crowd of people chatting at their respective tables. No one was dancing or looked remotely interested. It was nearly impossible to hear the person next to me even though they were screaming in my ear. It didn’t make any sense to have that kind of music at that volume level that early in the night at a neighborhood bar. We had no choice but to leave our drinks 3/4s full and split. Haven’t been back since.

  5. LOL the food here sucks. This writer isn’t a food critic, more like a local restaurant booster. BTW those wings are the single most disgusting dish in the entire 90042 zip code.

  6. You can find the best wings in all of HLP at…….drums roll…..OK Chinese restaurant! Ok?

    The Greyhound is a place to have a drink, That’s it!

  7. Seems like people are looking for gastronomy from a bar. It’s decent bar food served at a bar– kinda strange how people have such high expectations these days… Place is a lot nicer than the dumpy pupuseria that was previously there… Can get a burger and a beer for $8 bucks anytime during a Dodger game or happy hour– seems like fair deal… I agree a little loud at times, but all in all seems like a decent spot, and I’m sure it will improve with all the angry locals and hipsters providing constructive criticism…

  8. The GH is a good bar. The food is not very good at all. I’ve tried the burger a couple of times to give it a chance and it’s disappointed both times. The wings were a joke. I’ve never had such small and meatless wings ever. The only thing I’ve had there that I would recommend are the fish and chips. Polite bar tenders and good drinks.

  9. I had a delicious beer and macaroni and cheese dish at The Greyhound but even better than those two items was how friendly and welcoming the staff was. Thankfully there weren’t any DJs making a racket when I was there. I most likely wouldn’t have made it past the entrance if there were.

  10. Wow. After reading an honest review-one that doesn’t focus on bashing the locals, ‘hipsters’, or the entrepreneurs who are trying to bring some variety into my neighborhood-I’m astonished to see all the negativity breeding from these comments. In my humble opinion, nothing is atrocious at the Greyhound and Valentina’s review exemplifies the optimism I share with the non-franchised bars and dining options coming into my neighborhood. I enjoyed my $8 beer and burger combo and the wings were, well, hot wings. What do you want from a neighborhood joint? I want affordable food that meets my expectations during a happy hour with co-workers or a late night snack and night cap. The Greyhound does that for me.

  11. Not sure why people become butthurt when the truth is told.
    This place is a rip off, the prices you pay here for disdainful service is a joke, not to mention you have to bus your own table for condiments, utensils, and get up an order cafeteria style, what a crock of horse shiite.
    The attitude of the workers there are something to behold, like you are privileged to be there, couldn’t be more unimpressed with this crap fest.

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