Family Amity at Ammo

by Jessica on July 29, 2010

Kid Hit Menu Items: Salads, sandwiches and pizza are creative but not wacky. James liked the pizza with prosciutto, figs, and gorgonzola, even if he picked the figs off. Crust has a lovely char and firm bite. He’s also eaten the lentils.

Adult Perks: Sunday roast is only $32 per person for three courses. A salad with luscious duck confit, peaches and frisée was practically a meal in itself. We then had to set aside concerns about our cholesterol levels to recently eat generous portions of sand dabs meunière with ample amounts of lemon caper brown butter, along with haricot verts that retained just enough bite to stand up to the richness of the fish. (And we actually heard little repeated requests for “more fish.”) The cocktails list is quite lovely, with lots of fresh ingredients and other au courant components, e.g. aperol. Ammo just added Sunday brunch, and some of the drinks on the list include fresh juice Greyhound, Elderflower Mimosa with Chateau D’Orschwihr Cremant, White Peach Bellini, and Strawberry Sunrise.
Pros: Casual, stylish room with just enough palatable “edginess” for industry types. Fairly loud but manageable noise level, so no need to keep conversation hushed. Because this always felt like a daytime restaurant to me anyway, an early dinner before the sun has set (during the summer, at least) is a perfect time to go as a family. Staff is helpful and we were given water in a covered plastic cup.

Cons: Some people trying to mix a lot of business with pleasure might not be all that psyched to sit near little ones. Our most recent meal got a little challenging and we had to visit the exciting sidewalk along Highland a few times. Obviously no fault of the restaurant.

Changing Station: No

High Chairs: Yes

Parking and Access: Street parking on Highland or side streets usually isn’t too bad, depending on the time of day.

Other Tidbits: In an area of Hollywood filled with photo labs, studio spaces, prop houses, and other miscellaneous businesses that make up the less glamorous but essential parts of the entertainment industry, Ammo’s been a steady presence since 1996. Aron’s Records liquidated the last of its record bins years ago, and a trendy cupcake shop opened up the street, but much about the Hollywood Industrial Zone remains the same. (Which also happens to double as the Trannie Hooker District.) Ammo was one of the first to the local, seasonal, market-oriented party. Its utilitarian chic décor, with exposed ducts, pipes, etc. combined with a neutral palette that’s been warmed up since it first opened, gently reminds us this space was something other than a restaurant in a previous life.

Before juicy de-boned roasted chicken and the lentil and beet salad showed up on every other menu around Los Angeles, Ammo’s versions were nearly revelatory in the late 90s. The restaurant has stuck to its original mission of clean flavors heavy on the local, fresh ingredients. But it’s hard to be a reliable stalwart and entice repeat visits in an ever-competitive restaurant scene. Maybe that’s why most of my Ammo meals in recent years have been my husband’s work lunch leftovers. Now with exec chef Dan Mattern and the awesome pastry maven Roxana Jullapat comfortably ensconced in Ammo’s kitchen, the menu has been refreshed and elevated — that roasted chicken is now a wood-roasted hen with purslane, chick peas, almonds and apricot honey — and there’s plenty reason to go back.


1155 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
(323) 871-2666
Market-Driven/Seasonal, American
Monday – Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; 6 – 10 p.m. (M-Th), Friday & Saturday, 5:30 – 11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., 5:30 – 9 p.m.

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