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