Trout Toast at The Hart and the Hunter in LA Does Pickled Fish Proud

We love a lot more than sandwiches alone at Serious Eats, so in the spirit of A Sandwich a Day, here's Eat This Now, a quick look at what we're eating and want to talk about. —The Mgmt.


[Photograph: Daniela Galarza]

Everyone who's ever been to The Hart and the Hunter, the ambitious new Southern-inflected hotel cafe in West Hollywood, will tell you to get the biscuits. And you should get the biscuits. But whatever you do, don't ignore the smoked trout ($12).

The pickled river fish is easy to overlook on a menu that offers dishes like shrimp and grits, chicken cracklings, and raclette. The description doesn't help either: "Smoked trout with boiled egg, pickled onion, capers, avocado toast." It doesn't sound sexy, and you think, "I can make avocado toast at home." But when it arrives at the table, on a plate right out of granny's cupboard, you'll know you did the right thing.

Two slices of baguette sit side by side, proudly piled high with avocado, pickled trout, tart capers, fresh parsley, and bright pink pickled onions. Somewhere in there are bits of hard-boiled egg, which cut through the acidity, but don't distract from the creamy avocado or lemony fish. You'll be grateful that the bread is neither too crunchy nor chewy, but just right for taking polite bites. And then you'll polish off the second slice without so much as a word to your dining companion.

The Hart and the Hunter

7950 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046 (map) (map) 323-424-3055