Eat Drink Americano
A warm 4 o’clock sun streams through the blinds of Eat Drink Americano like it’s January in Massachusetts. Rugged hardwood and worn-out sheet metal cover the interior of this former warehouse. It’s authentic, it’s raw. Here, pretentiousness comes to die.
Eat Drink Americano thrives off the small-batch creativity of the Downtown LA community. That’s why owner Michael Burke chose the Arts District. “It’s something you would expect to find in this area,” he said. “We’re not bringing in an inauthentic style.
Eighty percent of ingredients on the restaurant’s menu are made in house. If they can’t do it best, they outsource to other Downtown favorites to be locally resourceful and as ingrown as possible. Their coffee is from Stumptown, bread from Breadlounge, and liquor from the neighboring Greenbar Spirits.
“I wanted to have a focus on all things domestic,” said Burke, who’s just about the only thing not American about this spot. The self described “creative” moved to the Arts District in 1996 after immigrating from Liverpool. Over lunch, Eat Drink Americano feels like any namesake neighborhood deli. There’s counter service which focuses on traditional lunchtime options like warm soup and sandwiches on a 12- inch baguette. Anyone and everyone stops in for lunch, from Arts District locals to neighborhood construction workers.
As the silverware is set out and the lights are dimmed, Eat Drink Americano’s evening fare focuses on a fusion of flavors through American inspired tapas. Bubbly IPAs and crisp ciders are served with small plates you won’t exactly find in your mother’s kitchen.
The flavors of the holidays come alive, dressed up, and done well. Slow-roasted Turkey is served over a bed of traditional stuffing, in a pool of creamy corn, and decorated with bits of cranberry.
Unlikely ingredients compliment each other in the salty and sweet soft-shell crab slider. The crunchiness of the deep fried crab, meets the cool taste of Wakame seaweed. It’s all topped with a homemade saffron cream Aioli that brings it altogether.
Though favorites remain on the menu, Burke encourages his kitchen staff to get creative. He walks a fine-line of changing it up just enough to satisfy his Arts District regulars. “A lot of what I’ve learned about who we are, I’ve learned through our customers” he said.