Los Angeles is home to a lot of amazing hidden foodie gems. With an abundance of culture, thriving businesses, and a multitude of different genres of entertainment; there really is something for everyone. And food is no small player in this town of varying aesthetics and flavor cornucopia. What may seem like a spread out town of smog and indifferent people, hidden within the depths of this city are beautiful interiors of an otherwise ugly storefront. Los Angeles certainly is a city with Hollywood influences splashed across its forefront. But isn’t that the magic of it all? It exudes the essence of glamour, sex appeal, and the risqué. T
Speaking of glamour and sex appeal, Los Angeles is home to The Edison; a post-industrial steampunk styled nightclub and restaurant. Residing in Los Angeles’s very first privately owned power plant, The Edison, is located in the basement of the historic Higgins Building. In 2010, they celebrated its 100th Anniversary. The historical landmark turned nightlife soiree, adequately achieves a glamorously arousing aesthetic with its architectural details and lighting. Taking cues from the more fun-loving part of the prohibition era, The Edison embodies an image of a sophisticated speakeasy from the industrial revolution. It also currently delivers some amazingly delicious food, superb handcrafted signature cocktails, and houses an accommodating and congenial staff. Basically, this place is fancy-shmancy – simply put.
I had the pleasure of visiting The Edison to taste its delicious bacon and pork dishes. I brought a friend from out of town because I wanted to show him that Los Angeles had more to offer than smog, traffic, and scary alleyways. As an amateur photographer, he offered to take the photos for this piece and I was ecstatic. After we walked through the alley toward its entrance and entered the historic building, I already knew my friend was impressed. His eyes widened as he took in the visuals around him. We were whisked down a set of stairs, then submerged into soft, warm lighting mixed with the sounds of glasses tinkling, intermittent laughter, and the setup of a burlesque band. Keeping in theme with its era, The Edison retains many of its architectural and mechanical artifacts from its history as a private power plant. We took in the old generators around the room and realized we were going to be seated in the Generator room. Projected images of a surreal black and white industrial film splashed and played on the wall behind our large dining table and oversized dark, plush leather couches rimmed the dining area.
After being seated by the Director of Operations, Jeffrey Davis, we were greeted by bar manager and “liquid courage” genius, John Maraffi. He brought us his delicious drink creation, the Happy Herbie. The ‘happy’ drink is derived from the legendary Disney Imagineer, Herbert “Herbie” Ryman, who helped Walt Disney’s visions come to life with his illustrative talent. A portion of the proceeds from this particular cocktail benefit the Ryman Foundation: a foundation that teaches classical drawing and painting to talented and motivated high school students. Who knew a cocktail could help benefit young artists? We were quite impressed with the Edison’s ingenuity and desire to efficiently cultivate artistic talent.
As we sipped upon our cocktails, we prepared ourselves for the delicious food that followed. Executive Chef Russell Saito personally brought out the delicious pork-tastic dishes. The first one on our menu was the Bacon-Maple Beer Nuts: Spanish Peanuts candied in a Bacon-Maple-Rosemary crackle. It was like bacon covered crack but without all the bad side effects of crack. (We wouldn’t know personally, but we watch a lot of movies.) These nuts were deliciously addicting and if it wasn’t for the anticipation of the dishes to follow, they probably would have been devoured. The next player up was the Bacon & Eggs. Deviled Eggs with Applewood Smoked Bacon and Jalapeno. Three bacon and egg beauties on a bed of fried onions. Another successful taste bud party.
The Chicken & Waffles arrived after. These classic fried, boneless chicken breasts were made with a roasted corn and red bell pepper succotash, candied maple syrup, and bacon waffles. Yep, those fluffy waffles had bacon inside and purely delicious. The Edison efficiently turned a classic comfort food into one of originality, beauty, and class. Even more points to The Edison.
As if we weren’t already full, Chef Russell continued to bring out some extremely tasty dishes. We assumed that he wanted us to leave fat and happy and we were completely okay with that. He brought out the Soy Braised Pork Belly Flatbread. It was pork belly with Thai basil, smoked gouda, pickled curried onions, all smothered in a Hoisin tomato sauce. A combination of sweet and spicy and completely delectable.
The Boiler Room arrived shortly after. Two sliders of slow braised pulled pork sandwiches with crispy shoestring onions, roasted garlic aioli, and creamy slaw. We weren’t able to finish these – not because they weren’t scrumptious – but because we were getting quite full. After the abundance of savory dishes, we had reached our limit. It was time to venture off and watch the burlesque band and dancers.
With high quality entertainment, delicious drinks, sumptuous food, all ensconced in a beautiful venue with sexy ambiance, it’s not hard to see why the Edison is such a popular hangout. They do have a fairly strict dress code, but of course they want to keep in theme with their venue. We highly recommend a visit to The Edison if you’re looking for high-quality food, superior staff, and a unique experience. For a big night of class and fun, or looking to impress a date – The Edison will go beyond your highest expectations. Don’t forget to tell them that I sent you. *Wink, wink.
(A very special “Thank You!” to Ross Fischer for taking the photos. Photos edited by Sara Lewis.)