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Checker Hall

104 N. Ave 56 (Figueroa St.) Send to Phone
Highland Park’s airy upstairs restaurant with an adjacent music venue serves up fine Mediterranean fare and cocktails in a stylishly revamped historic Masonic lodge.

Dinner Tues.-Sat.
Open late

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Checker Hall Restaurant Review

About chef Hovig Agop: Chef Hovig Agop grew up in LA and soaked in a bit of the Cal-Med zeitgeist at Cleo working for sbe. His Lebanese background gives him a fine-tuned sense of authentic flavor and technique, and his menu ranges from casual street food like hummus and skewers to more sophisticated, nuanced yet unpretentious entrées.

The décor: Highland Park’s former Masonic lodge retains its unique historic atmosphere, and is augmented by design touches like a striking mid-century Dutch chandelier that illuminates the vintage triangular bar in the middle of the room (which is packed on weekends). Old-fashioned windows open out over bustling Figueroa Street, and tall booths offer intimacy. An attached sister venue, Lodge Room, boasts more vintage splendor and has become one of the neighborhood’s premier spots for seeing live music. No need for show tickets to dine at the restaurant, though Lodge Room does have its own glamorous dedicated bar.

Likes: Lovely décor; a good-looking Eastside crowd; the daurade fish.
Dislikes: Cocktails lean towards the sweet side; DJs after 9 p.m. make it loud for dining.

Food & Drinks: This chic neighborhood hangout is popular from cocktail hour until late night, perhaps because it finds the ideal balance between drinking and grazing, and more serious dining. It suits a casual gathering of friends or a fancier date night, and the pan-Mediterranean menu offers a variety of bites and distinctive mains. Grab a booth or sit at the bar with pretty cocktails that might include intriguing Middle Eastern ingredients like jalab, zaatar and roasted sesame. Agop’s hummus and muhammara dips are spot on, and look to the grill for sharing skewers, merguez lamb sausage or pork belly with peppadew and a pomegranate glaze. Fried cauliflower with tahini sauce and moussaka are also fine options to share. The kitchen’s standouts are the elevated and beautifully crispy daurade fish offset by brown butter with currants, capers and fried herbs, or one of the most flavorful and tender hanger steaks in town. The chocolate tahini brownie à la mode makes a good finish. There’s a thoughtful draft beer list and some wine as well.
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