Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Oct 11th, 2013

The Federal Bar in North Hollywood: Taking American Gastro-Pub Cuisine to new Heights

The Federal BarThey call it the North Hollywood Arts District, and The Federal Bar has now become an integral part of the scene, and after a sluggish start is now doing good business and packed most nights. Sous Chef James Markham did the cooking on our visit, and works under executive chef Shad Davis. Markham has only been there a couple of months, so a few subtle chef changes have been made to the menu.

Trendy American Gastro-Pub food is the theme here for those of us who like to tag restaurants with a theme, and at the Federal Bar the portions are quite substantial and the prices are within everyone’s budget. They must be doing well however, because they have opened up a Long Beach version on Pine Avenue at the former space occupied by the Madison.

The crowd at the Federal Bar seemed to be on the younger side, but no older patron would feel out of place here, unless he or she feels uncomfortable squinting at the menu or using one of those Owl Flashlights. The seating is very comfortable however especially in the booth we were sitting.

The North Hollywood location is certainly an impressive and imposing building in the area, and used to be a bank, and is the brainchild of Knitting Factory CEO Morgan Margolis. There are at least twenty craft beers on tap including such hip brands as Victory Prima Pills; Dogfish Head 60; Allagash Black; Telegraph White Ale and Stone IPA. For my own choice I decided on the Craftsman 1903 pre-prohibition lager. Specialty cocktails are all priced at $10 including the Flawless, a tantalizing mixture of Grey Goose Pear Vodka, St.Germain Elderflower, Fresh Lime and Prosecco.

Here are some of the menu items to try out on your visit. The Federal Dog which is topped with shallot rings, pickled jalapenos and mustard ($8), and they even suggest a beer pairing which in this case is Victory Prima. Another they serve a lot of is the IPA-braised short ribs with melted leeks and hulk smash potatoes ($18).

I did try the roasted beet salad which is served with arugula, shaved fennel, feta, orange, and spiced walnuts($10). The spiced walnuts made all the difference to this dish, and another starter we went for was the Ahi Tuna Crudo ($9) with cilantro.

Halibut sliders was a special that night and a nice touch although the sweetness of the bread was a curious choice to go with the acidity of the fish. Chef Markham did explain that they did experiment with other bread types but that this was the best option available.

I also tried the Roasted Chicken w/harisa mash, vegetable skewers, roasted pear and chimichurri ($18), which was also a substantial dish, as is the Fried Chicken w/sage infused red velvet waffles and spicy syrup ($16).

The Federal Bar
5303 Lankershim Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 91601

Average check for two w/wine or beer  $82
Valet Parking-$5
Street Parking available but short walk likely.

About the Author

- Michael Hepworth is a food, spirits and travel writer who contributes to magazines, newspapers and magazines in Los Angeles, Dubai, London and Mumbai.

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The Federal Bar in North Hollywood: Taking American Gastro-Pub Cuisine to new Heights