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501 S. Spring St. (W. 5th St.) Send to Phone
Top Chef Ilan Hall offers Scottish-Jewish fusion in a funky/seedy setting downtown.


Dinner Mon.-Sat.
Open late
  • Dress code: Casual
  • Full bar
  • Reservations suggested

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED The Gorbals Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Operations may be disrupted due to COVID-19. Be sure to contact the restaurant to find out its current status and offerings.

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED The Gorbals Los Angeles Restaurant Review

: THE GORBALS LOS ANGELES IS CHANGING LOCATIONS. This unique restaurant is the first from chef Ilan Hall, who won the second season of Top Chef at age 24. Located in the somewhat surrealistically seedy Alexandria Hotel downtown at Spring and 5th, The Gorbals is tucked away like a cryptic scene from Twin Peaks in the back of the lobby. But enter, and it’s a magical transformation into a bare-bones little room bustling in dim lighting and buzzing with a scruffy, intent downtown foodie crowd. The name Gorbals comes from the Glasgow neighborhood his Scottish dad/Israeli mum grew up in, but the cross cultural ironies Hall evokes are slyly more New York-style. Hall delights in being provocative with his menu, but never capriciously so, cooking from his gut with an astute culinary intuition. And he cooks with guts too, literally, injecting offal like tripe, sweetbreads and sheep stomach into an array of startling little dishes. One good realization is a plate of tender grilled octopus with chicken gizzards and chunks of fresh lemon, a wonderful mélange of flavors and textures. Hall’s culty signature dish, bacon wrapped matzah balls, actually are quite irresistible, fluffy and savory. Old world Jewish cuisine collides with Scottish tradition---a haggis burger, or clapshot of mashed potatoes and turnips. His soul-satisfying GLT sandwich uses gribenes---deep fried crispy chicken skin---in place of bacon, on crusty rye with lettuce and tomato. Happily, vegetarians also find gems, from the Persian cucumber salad with zatar and sesame, to grilled escarole with hummus, braised red cabbage with caraway and walnuts, and of course crispy latkes with smoky applesauce. There’s a small list of wines and beers, but indulging in one of a dozen single malt scotches like Lagavulin or Cragganmore is a very nice way to go here. By all means, don’t miss the divine sticky toffee pudding studded with Maldon salt.

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