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Mr. T

  • Restaurants
  • Hollywood
  • price 3 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Lamb skewers, "Thai" tuna crudo and uni rice at Mr. T
    Photograph: Courtesy Jesse Hsu
  2. Mr T Los Angeles Patio
    Photograph: Courtesy Innis CaseyMr. T Los Angeles
  3. ginza nishikawa
    Photograph: Courtesy Innis Casey
  4. Mr. T uni rice
    Photograph: Courtesy Innis CaseyUni rice
  5. Mr. T mac and cheese
    Photograph: Courtesy Jesse HsuMr. T mac and cheese
  6. Tequila bucatini at Mr. T
    Photograph: Courtesy Innis CaseyTequila bucatini
  7. Mr. T bar area
    Photograph: Courtesy Innis Casey
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

This modern French bistro brings the verve and elegance of the Paris original to an industrial-chic dining room and patio in Hollywood.

Housed in an indoor-outdoor space discreetly tucked behind hedges, it's easy to drive by and miss Mr. T Los Angeles, the latest addition to the Sycamore Avenue coterie that includes Gigi's, Tartine, Mizlala and Sightglass Coffee. After a single meal at this stylish Paris import, however, you won't find yourself overlooking Mr. T. Inspired by international street food, the modern bistro offers something rarely found in L.A.'s dining scene: a refreshing dose of subtlety. Whether seated within the industrial dining room or out on the spacious patio lined with string-lit olive trees, the elegance at Mr. T is a testament to the fact that sometimes, even in a city that loves its maximalism, less is more. 

Nuance is an unmistakable carryover from the original in trendy Marais, where the eponymous Tsuyoshi Miyazaki leads a three-person team in a galley smaller than most apartment kitchens in this city. (Full disclosure: Time Out received a complimentary meal on a coincidental trip to Paris.) The understated sensibility of the first location translates surprisingly well to Hollywood, where République and Chi Spacca alum Alisa Vannah oversees execution of a concise menu that intersperses Mr. T signatures among L.A. originals. From starters through dessert, every dish delivers with just the right amount of flair. Across the menu, spices and flavors meld, rather than pop. Items like the namesake mac and cheese and dry-aged steak present more loudly—tableside pyrotechnics and yakitori grill plating, respectively—while less showy creations like the big-eye tuna crudo and cauliflower tikka masala filter the global pantry through a decidedly traditional French lens. 

In practice, this means a surprising amount of decadence threads itself throughout the night, to both Mr. T's detriment and benefit. A confit egg yolk adds creaminess to uni rice; a spinach and artichoke dip that calls to mind California Pizza Kitchen comes with a hefty dose of truffle cream. While a generous hand with dairy might turn off some L.A. diners used to lighter takes on international flavors, the heavy French accent distinguishes Mr. T within the nebulous, oft-disappointing dining category that is "globally inspired small plates."

Helping to offset all the richness is the restaurant's playful, first-rate cocktail program, where L.A. ingredients deftly integrate themselves into well-balanced drinks that take their names from old-school rap hits. The Gin and Juice, in particular, is one of the best alcoholic drinks incorporating boba we’ve ever tasted, while tequila-based, Tajín-rimmed cocktails like the Temperature Rising and Let Me Ride combine bright tropical flavors mostly associated with Mexican cuisine. A well-timed drink or two might even drum up an appetite for Mr. T's excellent dessert options: a chocolate tiramisu, a standout "bubbles and berries" and an apple pithiviers: essentially, a French take on apple pie à la mode.

Though Mr. T's original outpost is favored among the Parisian creative class, the Hollywood location's clientele skews more straightforwardly affluent than aesthetically inclined. Waiting at the host stand one evening, I once saw a tiny white dog peek miserably out of a guest’s monogrammed Christian Dior bag: not exactly the accessory of choice for L.A. creative types, no matter how much money they have. Still, the restaurant itself offers equal parts style and substance—a mix that ultimately makes for a sophisticated meal worth going out of the way to Hollywood for. 

The vibe: Understatedly chic. The best seats in the house are on the heated outdoor patio, though the gleaming chef's counter and private dining room with a wall covered in old-school records aren’t half bad either.

The food: Globally inspired cuisine with a heavy French accent. Highlights include the uni rice, namesake mac and cheese and "bubbles and berries" dessert.

The drink: Well-balanced house cocktails that integrate fun ingredients like popping boba and chili lime seasoning, plus a wine list that mixes California and European wines, albeit with an emphasis on Burgundy and Bordeaux. 

Time Out tip: Skip the namesake burger. Though it's serviceable and includes a cheese flambée (like the mac and cheese), it's got nothing on other gourmet burgers around town.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Written by
Patricia Kelly Yeo

Details

Address:
953 N Sycamore Ave
Los Angeles
90038
Price:
$$$
Opening hours:
Tues–Sat 5:30pm-12am
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