Happy Hour: $
Monday - Friday: 4:00 - 6:00 P.M.
DTLA has a new restaurant/bar opening just about every week, whether it has staying power or not- is up to the locals. A recent addition to the Historic Core is the curious Hock+Hoof, the name is enough to grab your attention, but you’ll stay for the food and drinks.
Certainly, a curious concept, Hock+Hoof claims theirs is a French-Asian-Contemporary-American cuisine with an inspiration growing from the many diversities in Los Angeles itself. The menu is extensive but still focused on a welcoming environment and casual dining.
5th and Spring (5th and anywhere for that matter) is not an easy corner, with the recent additions to the Spring Arcade, the block seems to be getting a makeover, and Hock+Hoof is a beautiful part of it. Claiming a stake on the annex of the Alexandria, the owners/chefs Kat Hu and Justin Yi are housed inside one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in DTLA. The nod to the history of the hotel on their website shows they’re proud members of the community, and they want us to love their food and drinks as much as they love DTLA.
Chef Kat’s talents come from growing up in her native Nanjing China and attending Le Cordon Bleu. This led her to work at prestigious hotels such as the Ritz at LA Live and local French bistro Cafe Pinot.
Justin’s talents come from learning how to make traditional Korean and Mexican dishes at the Food Court of his family owned swap-meet back in Las Vegas.
He and Kat both met while employed by the Patina Group and after flying around the world together they decided to lay down their own roots in DTLA with H+H.
The restaurant space itself is wide and open with lots of natural low light, adorned with exposed brick, hanging string lights and minor fun decorations that caught our eyes. It’s simple, it’s modern, it’s fun. Some tables are for private parties of two, larger groups will also feel comfortable at the large picnic tables on the left. Solo-diners fear not, there is individual bar seating throughout. They have a patio but we suggest eating inside this incredible interior. Now on to the menu and what we ordered!
Offering a variety of menus, which are ever changing given how creative they are, Hock+Hoof’s happy hour is not one to sleep on. The cocktails offered during happy hour to vary from day to day, depending on what’s available or what the crew is vibing, but they will all be soju based. Don’t sleep on this it is on purpose and not to be disregarded.
They do offer some creative non-alcoholic drinks if you don’t feel like drinking at all, or if soju isn’t your jam they do offer a wide selection of beer and wine. The beer and a shot deal for $5 is hard to beat and according to general manager and drinks director Sunny, that’s what people order the most. They’re proudly serving a local brew, Home beer.
They have a mix of bar snacks, appetizers, and entrees from their regular dinner menu available at a discount price. Which brings us to our next brownie point, the prices are incredibly fair for what they’re offering. The range is more than affordable and the quality is unmatched, you won’t spend more than $7 on a drink and less than $10 on food. Seriously is this freaking jackpot or what? Here’s what we ordered and what we thought!
THE HHC TEAM SIPPED ON:
Strawberry-Thyme Soju Cocktail
M: So this is custom made by Sunny just to show us what he can do with soju. A strawberry-thyme cocktail that is refreshing and perfect for the summer. It tastes natural, the strawberry is dominant. If I had to compare it to something I’d say a strawberry agua fresca. Not much fizz from the ginger beer, it’s just overall very good.
A: For me, the thyme isn’t overpowering but not understated either. The fragrance it gives off as you sip it mixes well with the flavors of strawberry. You can tell this isn’t artificially sweetened, the use of fresh ingredients is obvious. I agree it’s a great summer cocktail.
A: It’s very light. I’d recommend this to anyone who’d want something close to a martini. It isn’t heavily strong and in your face as the traditional vodka/gin martini. The orange bitters add a wonderful light but crispy taste.
M: Definitely a good choice for those who may find a sensitivity to straight liquor as I do. Typically I stay away from martinis given the ratio of spirit to vermouth but this is perfect. It’s like a real martini without the strength. I’m loving it.
M: To me, the immediate flavor I think of is a pina colada. Not at all what I expected, but happily surprised. This is definitely a cocktail for the poolside. The sweetness is the opposite of the strawberry cocktail, it’s not earthy at all.
A: For how much viscosity it has this drink is shockingly refreshing. I agree it’s very sweet, giving me tropical vibes, but it tastes fresh. More sweet than herbal, still not artificially sweet. It makes me think of honey. This is what I’d want to be drinking if I had already been day drinking all day and wanted to keep going.
M: So in this one, they used 2 different kinds of vermouth, still, it’s light but the vermouth offers a kick back at the end. The flavor is heavy on the banana based soju. I like it enough but I detest banana flavored things so I’m biased.
A: This take on a classic Manhattan is absolutely amazing. It’s light in flavor while still being spirit forward. You can actually taste the soju, still, it tastes like a stronger cocktail. This is not on the menu yet! But it will be and I recommend it to anyone that does like a harder whiskey cocktail. Don’t knock it because it’s soju.
M: Wow, this is absolutely delicious, a take on a sour cocktail, I’m blown away. It’s very pretty and well done. The honey flavor is the more dominant one to me. The lemon is the perfect mix, a great blend, definitely my favorite so far.
A: This cocktail is all around greatly done. From the blend of flavors to the use of egg whites, and the garnish tops it all off. Being a fan of sours this is very well represented though it’s soju. I love it.
The HHC Team Shared
Waffle Fries with Chive Aioli & Ranch
M: I come from a culture where chicharron matters and this is done right! It’s a big portion, comes with lemon which is perfect for me. If you’re going to do both the fries and this it’s very shareable.
A: Delicious fluffy, crispy, and the bit of spice is great it’s not too much of a kick. The fries are perfect, the chive aioli that comes with them is very delicious and light tasting, a great pairing.
A: The chicken is juicy on the inside, not overcooked, great flavor, not disgustingly over breaded. The ranch is also delicious, very light, without it’s losing flavor. All around the best chicken strips I have had during our venture in reviewing places.
M: Usually when you hear buttermilk you think of things melting in your mouth- these do. They have enough crunch, they have enough juice, oh and, they’re not tearing my mouth up like chicken tenders usually do. I love them, that being said Alex must have loved them more because she ate almost all of them.
Duck Confit Poutin
A: Very, very good. The duck is juicy and not overcooked, tender bites, the poutin is perfect because it’s not too thick it’s not too thin. It’s not heavy in flavor either it doesn’t overpower the rest of the ingredients. Very well done.
M: At first sight, it doesn’t look like it’d be as complex as it is. There’s so much more to it than meets the eye. It has a quality you can taste. It’s also a generous portion, quickly my favorite dish.
Cod and Chips
A: Wow, this dish is something else. The batter they use is from New York, it’s called glass batter, according to Sunny. It has true crispiness on the outside without being overly battered. It's very well cooked, the fish is moist and very tender it almost melts in my mouth. I am not exaggerating when I say this is exactly how I want to fish and chips to be. The Chinese vinegar and salt and pepper that comes with it is an excellent combo, even the pepper is super flavorful.
M: This is another dish that really surprised me, I always expect fish and chips to be boring, but H+H has revolutionized it for me. The batter has a sweetness to it that compliments the vinegar when you dip the fish the vinegar accentuates a hint of maple in the batter. Mixed in with the bitterness of the vinegar this is exploding in my mouth. It’s sweet and savory paradise. Don't dowse it in the salt and pepper- a little goes a long way.
M: It’s soooo good its got Havarti cheese, fresh lettuce, the beef is cooked right, the buns are soft, the burger is advertised as the big ass burger it’s not big in the sense of tall but big in the sense of ingredients, surprisingly they all balance out each other so very well.
A: The nice thick chunk of slice Havarti gives it a nice crunch. The beef is amazing, it’s a nice blend, it’s a nice blend, it’s not overhandled meat, light, airy juicy, nice charred outside. All around this burger is the best burger we have had in our adventures. So currently for me, that’s best burger and fish and chips.
The Overall Experience:
H+H caught us off guard with the deliciousness of the food, we didn’t think such generous plates would be offered at the discount price for happy hour, yet they really know how to draw you in to come back.
The soju-based cocktails also did not disappoint, we were so happy to see that the traditional flavors of spirit based classics were well preserved and almost used in inspiration for the menu here.
Despite having a set sort of theme throughout their food (good, great, and amazing) they do have something for everyone here. Hock+Hoof is truly something unique, the food, the drinks, the staff, space, and even the music is bound to have you in a great mood throughout your entire stay.
Hock + Hoof has only been open for three months, so don’t worry you’re not late to the party. They’re open for lunch, brunch, happy hour, and dinner. It’s bound to blow up soon so make sure you visit before there’s a line out the door!
Happy Hour: 4.8/5
Overall Experience: 4.9/5
We’d like to thank Sunny and his staff for setting everything up for us and being fantastic hosts, giving us the best experience with soju ever, and for introducing us to the wild but delicious mix of the cuisine inspired by chefs Kat and Justin. We will certainly be back, thanks for reading and as always…
Happy Hour City