Friday, January 27, 2017

Hitting up the Morrison Before Leaving Town

The Morrison
3179 Los Feliz Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA 90039

When we are up this way, we try to see as many people that we know, on these way too short weekends. It gives us a chance to catch up, and also experience a new restaurant that we've wanted to try. After seeing some of Katie's friends and family on Saturday night, it was my turn to see my buddy Ed on Sunday afternoon, right before heading home down the 5 Freeway. It was also the perfect opportunity to try a restaurant I'd heard so much about, The Morrison.

The praise for the Morrison is pretty extensive. They were ranked by Yelp as the number seven best restaurant in the US last year, have won praise as being the most dog-friendly restaurant in LA, and they are very proud to tout their bread pudding, which they say is the best you will find anywhere. More on that later. With all of these mentions in the press, I was very excited to give this place a try. I hurriedly made reservations after our check out time and waited not so patiently for our friend Ed to join us so I could get some much-needed nourishment into my body.

We got to the Morrison at noon on a recent Sunday. I was relieved to find that they have a parking lot, which is kind of rare to find these days in LA. The NFL playoffs were going on, but there were plenty of tables available, but the tables filled up rather quickly in advance of the upcoming Packer's playoff game. By the time we left, this restaurant was filled with plenty of cheeseheads.

Not only is this a Packer's bar, but they also draw big crowds for soccer games and other sporting events. There's plenty of bar seating here, which seems to be the prime real estate, as it provides the best view of the TVs. There are also plenty of tables, some of which are far too close to each other, and the back wall is lined with some comfy looking booths. The interior of this gastropub is bathed in dark wood, a pleasing shade of green, and plenty of natural light coming in through the windows of the french doors facing the busy traffic on Los Feliz.

The menu at the Morrison is very burger heavy, with ten burgers offered, along with some salads, a couple of entrees, sides, and even daily specials, which are available after 5 pm. We were of course here at peak brunch time, so we also had the option of ordering off of the brunch menu. As if that was not enough, they also feature a dog-friendly menu for your four legged friends. After perusing the menus, this is what we settled on.

Both Ed and Katie opted to try something off of the brunch menu at the Morrison. Pictured above, along with Ed's childish antics is the Loaded Burrito ($11). This burrito was stuffed with bacon, sausage, eggs, avocado, and chipotle, all neatly wrapped in a large flour tortilla. Ed was a little indifferent about this breakfast burrito, calling it "a basic version, but nothing really made it stand out." Very hard to please is this guy that I've known since kindergarten. He made no mention of the potatoes here, and I found it refreshing that the potatoes were not included inside the burrito, which can sometimes overpower the other items.

One of the most photogenic food items we've seen in a long time was this Stackedwich ($11). Placed between two slices of toasted rye bread was a multitude of breakfast goodness. Plenty of cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, and a glorious fried egg with a good amount of runny yolk made this sandwich really pop. Katie for some reason was not expecting too much with this sandwich, probably because she did not see the same pictures I saw on Yelp before coming here, but she was pretty impressed with this sandwich. She loved the guts of the sandwich, with the creaminess of the avocado, the saltiness of the bacon, and the yolk that tied everything together. She was very excited that they used rye on this, as it gave the sandwich more stability and added an earthy flavor to the meal. She'd definitely get this again.

I was not in the mood for breakfast, so I ordered off of the regular menu, starting with these Cheese Fries with Bacon Jam ($8). This nod towards In-N-Out's animal style fries was far superior to anything you can get at that overrated hamburger chain. These crisp fries were topped with a house made thousand island dressing, cheddar cheese, and an addictive bacon and onion jam. My intention was to share these with Ed and Katie, but I found myself hoarding these, as I could not stop eating them. Some of the best fries I have had in awhile. I was excited that they stayed crunchy even with the stuff topping them. A must get when eating at the Morrison.

Not just content with fries, I, of course, needed to pick a burger to go along with them. Out of the ones on the menu, this Morrison Filet Burger ($15) really popped out at me. This one used their signature beef patty blend and then was topped with a seared filet mignon, marrow butter, port salut cheese, some celery and a sauce which was not mentioned on the menu, all placed between an English muffin. Quite simply, I did not want this burger to end, and I savored it until my last bite. This is the burger to beat for me in 2017. The patty was meaty, with a great juiciness to it, the marrow butter added a richness, and I never would have expected to like celery on a burger, but it gave it some great texture, and whatever that sauce was, went well here. I would have liked a different cheese on this, as the port salut was very mild, and slipped off of my burger rather easily. The filet was cooked to a wonderful medium rare and was easy to eat on top of this burger. A few weeks later, and I still think of this burger fondly.

If I think back on that burger fondly, you might as well say that I am obsessed with this Butterscotch Bread Pudding ($11). It's easy to see why this has been voted best bread pudding in LA, as it's definitely the best I have had. It starts with the right texture balance for me. Not too soggy, but not too dry. Just like the porridge that Goldilocks ate, this pudding got it just right. I was also a fan of the caramel whiskey sauce that came on the side of this dessert, and I definitely suggest paying the extra two dollars and getting this with the very generous scoop of ice cream. Make sure to save room for this dessert when coming to the Morrison, or better yet, eat this before your dinner, it's really that good.

After the bread pudding, the dessert floodgates opened, courtesy of Owner Marc Kreiner. He brought us out another four desserts to try, none of which were on the dessert menu. The best of the bunch for me was the Chocolate Chip Cookies with a mound of ice cream perched on top. The cookies were served warm and softened the ice cream which aided in the ease of eating this. Ed enjoyed the Fruit Tart, which utilized some fresh fruit on top and a creamy, but not too sweet filling on the bottom. After all of these desserts, I was more ready for a nap than an hour and a half drive down the 5 Freeway.

Even with the onslaught of sugar that we consumed in the last twenty minutes of our visit to the Morrison, I still realized through the sugary haze that we had just experienced a very good restaurant. I loved my burger and fries, and the bread pudding was out of this world. Both Katie and Ed enjoyed their breakfast, and it will be hard passing this exit on the freeway, and not wanting to stop here to try something else off of their menu. The service we experienced from our, new to this restaurant waiter, Roberto, to the food runners, bussers, and the owner, Marc Kreiner, will be hard to beat. We thank all of you for your generous hospitality. You all made it a real pleasure to dine here. It's no wonder why this restaurant scores some big numbers on Yelp. It was just okay catching up with our friend Ed, but much better eating at the Morrison.

Out of five horses, (because the Atwater Village section of LA, where this restaurant is located, was once home to some pretty prestigious horse riding clubs in the 20's and 30's), five being best to zero being worst, the Morrison gets 4 horses.

For more information about the Morrison, head to their website here:

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