Posted by: guythinks | April 30, 2010

The Gorbals

It’s been a while since my last post. Over a month as a matter of fact. However, there is a good reason for this…I promise! On April 12, I moved to Seattle, Washington. Currently, I am living on my friends’ couch. They have been so nice to all me to stay with them till I find my own place. What’s most exciting is all the new food places I’ll be able to eat at and write about!

Before I left I had the opportunity to dine at The Gorbals with a group of friends. Ilan Hall is the Executive Chef/Owner of The Gorbals which is located in Downtown Los Angeles at the Lobby of the Alexandria Hotel. If any of you remember, Ilan is the winner of Top Chef Season 2. The Gorbals opened in 2009 and serves what Ilan calls a mixture of Scottish and Jewish foods, which are his two backgrounds.

A few of us ordered a bottle of the Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc and the rest of us got drinks.

We ordered many of the things on the menu that night. The first was latkes with charroset. Latkes are potato pancakes which are typically eaten on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The charroset is a jam like mixture of dates, apples, cinnamon, and a few other spices. Charroset is eaten on the Jewish holiday Passover. The two actually paired together nicely.

These braised brussel sprouts were topped with a  hollandaise sauce. So perfectly seasoned and even tastier with the sauce.

The bacon wrapped matzoh balls are one of The Gorbals most famous items. Matzoh balls are a traditional Jewish food whereas bacon is definitely not. Combining these two is not kosher, but what matters here is the taste. Unfortunately these were not the best matzoh balls I’ve ever eaten but the bacon was a welcomed accompaniment. They came served on top of a horseradish mayo which gave it a tiny bit of spice.

One of my favorite dishes of the night was the GLT (Gribbens, Lettuce, Tomato). A take on the BLT sandwich. The great thing is that gribbens has a very similar texture to bacon. The Gorbals can definitely make a really simple sandwich, and it’s delicious.

I only got a bite from this dish but that bite was quite good. The Highland steak was cooked medium and was a tasty tender piece of meat. It was served with arugula and peas. The peas gave it a bit of a snap in texture.

Another one of our side dishes was a cucumber salad. Persian cucumbers with za’atar, sesame and chickpeas. It was a bit too much za’atar, but the cucumbers were a nice refreshing contrast.

The braised lamb shank buns were another one of my favorites that night. Think sliders. The lamb was so soft and full of flavor.

The beef marrow with king oyster mushrooms and walnuts was served with a few pieces of toast. The combination of the smooth fatty marrow with the crunchy walnuts on a piece of toast was really wonderful. So much flavor in such few ingredients. Marrow is quite tasty but not the healthiest thing to eat.

One of the other dishes we had that night that I was unable to get a photo of was the Welsh Rarebit. A piece of bread covered in egg and cheese. A very simple Scottish dish.

The dessert was probably my favorite plate of the night. Sticky toffee pudding, chocolate ice cream with maldon salt. I’m a huge fan of sweets and chocolate so this was just the thing for me. The combination of the three main items on this plate worked so well together. The saltiness really gave the sweetness of the ice cream and the pudding a lot of depth. Great way to end the meal.

After the dinner Ilan came over to our table to talk to us for a little bit. He signed our menus and took a couple pictures as well. This was a special night as one of my friends, Adam, who moved away a year and a half ago, was back in town and joined us for this meal. Glad I was able to experience The Gorbals before moving to Seattle.

The Gorbals

501 South Spring St.

Los Angeles, CA.  90013




  1. You guys should’ve run the gamut. 😉

  2. wow you guys got a lot! the lamb shank buns sound so good! mmm

  3. This looks soooooo good!! Putting this place on the must eat at list lol.

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