Kid Hit Menu Items: Whatever agua fresca is on the menu that day. Grenadine lemonade recently scored big with us. Homemade cheese sticks when available. Other (usually) non-controversial foods include the quiche (AKA “egg pie”) of the day ($6.50), the juicy rotisserie Jidori chicken. And the wonderful desserts, many made with the best local produce possible. Every time photos of some new Pavlova variation appears on Forage’s Facebook page, I want to drop everything and run over there.
Adult Perks: Sophisticated menu with sandwiches, salads, proteins (aforementioned chicken and soy & Coca-Cola marinated flank steak), and rotating salad and side options at a fair price. Imaginative crostini combos. Overall theme: serious skill and terrific ingredients paired with no bullshit.
Pros: Minimalist setting with white walls, and varnished and stained utilitarian wood surfaces. Just your average hip, clean neighborhood Mess Hall. Counter service and self-seating set-up, with a lot of food that’s already prepped and served cafeteria style. No fussy service, just straightforward and generally quick.
Friendly neighbors Pazzo Gelato and shoe store Wee Soles are right across the driveway, should you need to stop at either one or both of these quality simpatico neighborhood businesses. Or run dual errands at Spice Station and Secret Headquarters.
Cons: Crowds. Parking has become tough. The L-shaped room has a corridor about as wide as an airplane aisle. As is generally true of any popular place, best to go with kids during off-hours.
Changing Station: Oh hells YES! Not just a station, but a whole table. Just like the comfort of your own home. Sort of like the Pump Station of Silver Lake, without all the baby and breastfeeding equipment. Just kidding! Don’t worry, kid-phobes. Chef/owner Jason Kim told me his wife insisted on it, so major props to the Kims!
High Chairs: Yes. And boosters.
Parking/Ease of Access: The adjacent lot is often full. Street parking is usually available but it might take a couple laps around the block to find a metered space.
Other Tidbits: Forage became an instant hit on Sunset between Hyperion and Lucile the minute it opened its doors in January. Kim’s kitchen bona fides (L’Orangerie, Lucques), its mission, and quality struck a chord with the neighborhood and zeitgeist. The produce donating program (hence the name “Forage”), the current state of which I’m never sure of, also sets Forage apart from the pack of other market-driven casual restaurants that are heavy on the locavore and organic ethics. Specials change on a daily basis based on season and availability, but you’re likely to find something to please both the kids and adults in your posse. Chef/owner Kim is the father of two very young children, so even if Forage is overrun with barely groomed and marginally showered hipsters who might glare at you and your kids like you’re space aliens, the owner totally Gets It.
P.S. Confession: The following request was uttered from the backseat while en route to our most recent lunch at Forage: “I don’t want to go to Forage. How about we just go to that Denny’s instead?” Talk about early rebellion.
3823 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday,11:30 a.m. to 3 pm; 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.