The Hart and The Hunter: Swoon-Worthy Shots From the Southern Comfort Restaurant

Diehard food fanatics might recognize chefs Brian Dunsmoor and Kris Tominaga from their recently-successful Wolf in Sheep's Clothing pop-up. The dynamic duo also worked together at Joe's back when it was recognized by the folks over at the Michelin guide, and their combined experience eventually leading to the opening of The Hart and The Hunter at Palihotel, the current object of our affection, nay, obsession. (Note: They are emphatically not involved in the brick-and-mortar WiSC.)

We'll go ahead and get one thing out of the way: The place is hip. The interior is seriously one giant Pinterest board, what with the mismatched antique China and the bunny rabbit hunting trophies that adorn each table. But there is substance behind the style. After heading in for both lunch and dinner, we can't wait to go back — again and again.

Some of our favorite dishes were the smoked trout toast with house-cured pickles, the outrageously delicious kale salad, and the apple dumpling topped with melted Hook's cheddar. (It goes without saying that the chicken cracklins are indeed crack, and you probably should grab an order or three for your table.)

We would have been perfectly justified in gushing over this restaurant after our first dinner. But just to be sure our vision wasn't clouded by the BYO wine poured into mason jars and tea cups, we went again for lunch on Sunday.

And yep, we're still swooning. It was quiet, not overly-crowded. Lunch and a pastry came out to a little over $14. There was WiFi for working, and Electric Guest on the sound system. And inside the colonial-style coffee bar, which is used as a stunning open kitchen and plating station by night, Nicely from Handsome Roasters was pulling lattes adorned with his stylish rosettes. And even though the restaurant is distinctively Southern-inspired, you can easily get away with ordering vegetarian or pescatarian — both at lunch and dinner.

Between this and the G & B pop-up at Sqirl, we're re-inspired by food and coffee here in L.A. If that means we're elitist hipsters, then so be it. At least we won't be elitist hipsters eating at yet another gastropub.