The Farmer's Daughter Hotel Has a New Tart
Some LA restaurants have naughty pasts making them more interesting, but "Tart" the restaurant at The Farmer’s Daughter Hotel has reformed. As you might have guessed, the restaurant’s name is an inside joke to those familiar with the over 40-plus-year-old property’s history as a formerly grand hotel renting rooms-by-the-hour, flophouse style. It's in the heart of L.A.’s Fairfax District, across the street from CBS Studios, the original Farmer’s Market, and the Grove shopping and dining complex,
Many folks probably remember that the Farmer’s Daughter once catered to the Hollywood elite until the neighborhood declined and the hotel fell into disrepair. It stayed that way until new owners William and Lorna Cho purchased it, now a family affair with their daughter Ellen and her husband Peter Picataggio as managing partners. The latest face-lift changed the old property from a run-down "ladies of the night" motel to a sassy blue-ribbon beauty queen. They even gave up the "No-tell Room," with mirrored ceilings and full wet bar, always mentioned with a wink.
A snapshot view of the courtyard is farmhouse chic with Bavarian flair. While the seatings are wooden, they're spacious and cushioned for comfort, along with banquettes. There's heating, and candlelight, with important greenery on the patio, plus umbrella'd tables under strings of festive lights. Another part of the attraction is how the hotel wraps around the courtyard and becomes part of the enhancement, reminding diners of a movie-set. Also dining here is comforting, because one doesn't have to finish and leave, in fact, they can unwind with a good book and linger over a drink. Or perhaps hang out at their very popular indoor bar.
Folks love the country-themed Farmer's Daughter, not only for its homey new marvelous Tart restaurant, but for its hip and wholesome healthy mix of visitors, and wannabe "Price Is Right" contestants, so close to CBS studios.
The owners revamped the place to keep it sort of kitschy, charmed with tongue-in-cheek humor, and what's not to love? One can dine at any hour inside or out on the patio.
And then there are the overused and worn out farm tools hanging off the wall like a piece of art. There's also a sign that reads, "Cooking," The oldest profession. However, the Executive Chef, Lauren Kyles is young, goodlooking and talented.
She has introduced her nouveau Southern menu, and Peter hopes to stir emotions that remind folks of home, with a bit of nostalgia, and lots of comfort, such as "Mom's" old fashioned desserts and Country Buttermilk Biscuits.
Menu headings are Morning treats; Flapjacks & French Toast; Organic Eggs, (any way you like them) and Pan Scrambles (styled from various countries). The meat lovers scramble is made with apple smoked bacon, apple sausage, cured ham, spinach, mushrooms and aged white cheddar. It goes on with "Finger Pickin's," such as a bunch of mini Burgers with 3, 6, or 9 per order. Other headings are Fresh Salads from the Garden, (about 9) and there are "Sandwiches," served with their homemade BBQ chips or steak fries such as braised pork, chicken cutlet, steak, turkey meat loaf, or four cheese melts.
The Blue Plate Specials are large and allow you to include two side orders, ($16-22). On another occasion we began our meal with Chalone Pinot Noir and Fess Parker White Riesling, with upside down Nachos combined with caramelized onions, and chopped vegetables. Our Pancetta Wrap turkey meat loaf was served with onions, followed with a marvelous shrimp Orecchiete Pasta, tossed with Portabella mushrooms. Other items were blackened salmon with basmati rice and corn succotash, also BBQ spiced Ribeye with killer Mac & Cheese.
Chef Kyles’ formerly of The Green Door in Hollywood, was blessed with grandparents that were brought up in the South, instilling love of the region’s unique culinary offerings. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch is served on the weekends, and Tart restaurant is ideal anytime of day. Early morning favorites include Country Buttermilk Biscuits ($2) Warm Walnut Sour Cream Coffee Cake ($3.50); and the Twice Baked Potato Omelet with Shredded Potatoes, Onions, Cured Ham, Aged Cheddar, and Sour Cream ($10.95). Brunch includes the restaurant’s one-of-a-kind Hangover Burger made with grass-fed Angus Beef on a grilled Brioche Bun, with a Fried Egg, Bacon, Grilled Onions, Lettuce, Tomato, and Aioli ($14.95); a French Toast Sandwich filled with a choice of Blueberries, Strawberries, or Bananas ($10.95); and homemade Chicken a'la Waffles, ($14.95).
Popular lunch and dinner starters include Crawfish Spring Rolls; Southern Grape Leaves made with Dirty Rice and diced Andouille Sausage wrapped in Collard Greens; also Tart Chicken Sliders. Daytime lunchers can enjoy the Four Cheese Melt made with Provolone, Amish Aged Cheddar, Gruyère, Jack Cheese, Tomatoes, and Avocado on Sourdough Bread. Dinner guests may enjoy entrées including Southern Fried Chicken, served with Crispy Grit Cake, Mustard Greens, Corn on the Cob, and Lavender Honey ($19.95), or a Molasses-Glazed Pork Chop with Apple Chutney ($23.95). For in-the-know-guests, Kyles can prepare her specialty Cowboy Steak entrée, an off-the-menu item featuring a 24-ounce, grilled Bone-In Rib-Eye smoked in Alfalfa Hay and served with a choice of two side items. As far as sweets are concerned, treats on the “Mom’s Old Fashioned Desserts” a selection of tarts, including Apple, Chocolate Pecan, and a Strawberry Tart Cake.
Check out the restaurant’s bar with their selection of refreshing cocktails, including the Gentleman’s Margarita, made with Gentleman Jack's Whiskey and fresh-squeezed Lime Juice ($12). The moderately priced wine list features California selections, with 14 wines available by the glass.
Tart is open seven days a week with breakfast served 7-11:30am; lunch 11:30am-5:00pm; and dinner 5:00pm-11:00pm. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 8:00am-3:00pm. Valet parking with limited, & metered street parking. 115 S. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA (323) 937-3930. www.tartrestaurant.com PS; Don't miss the Crab Cakes, and ask the GM, Romain Lescaon for one of his masterful cappuccino's!