By Laura Medina
MCO (Moo-Cluck-Oink) Burger with Sweet Potato Teeter Tots glazed in Maple Syrup.
After spending some time at North Hollywood's The Federal Bar (North Hollywood or "NoHo" where the majority of junior film executives or young, budding yuppies are getting their feet wet), this Gen-X noticed this is a "Cheers" for Millennials.
A friendly place to wet your whistle with gallons of cool, foamy beer on tap. Remember, it's a friendly bar (with an historical lineage) catering to a mostly Gen-X and Millennials crowd, meaning The Federal Bar is also a relaxing, down-to-earth yet gourmand gastropub that matches its cool beers with equally cool meals that fits young professionals' wallets.
Forget Nineties' "Friends" Central Perk, sipping over-priced coffee.
Today's Gen-Xers had moved onto real meals with better ingredients; and Millennials demand more out of their neighborhood hang-out, munchies worth spending money on, yet young adult financially-friendly.
Dinner will become more exquisite, more varied, and more affordable with The Federal Bar's Dine LA Summer 2016 Edition Restaurant Week. Actually, it stretches into two weeks. So, you'll have two weeks to enjoy The Federal Bar's three-course dinner, starting this Monday, July 18th until Sunday, July 31st. This hip three-course dinner menu will be served at 5pm until 11pm, between Monday to Sunday. That's being fair and both Gen-X and Millennials like fair.
Bell Amber Beer
Did this scribe mention the beer? Did this scribe mention cool and foamy, during July's Heat Wave?
Part of The Federal Bar's DineLA deal is your free choice between 8oz. Draught Beer or Foundation Soda.
For the DineLA Dinner Feast, this scribe was pleasantly surprised Bells Amber pairs well with the candied Smoked Wings, the Beef Short Rib, and sweet but light Red Sangria Poached White Fish...and the MCO Burger...and the Sweet Potato Teeter Tots.
Smoked Wings, candied.
Bar food standard, The Federal Bar's Smoke Wings were house-smoked jumbo chicken wings, encased in a candied sweet whiskey sauce, catering to Millennial taste buds and Gen-X's value for the money.
Quinoa & Kale
Of course, since it's Summer, the sun-parched and the diet-conscious will pick the Quinoa & Kale, assuming it's a light salad.
Remember, The Federal Bar is a gastropub, quality food in good prices for hearty appetites. The Quinoa & Kale is another version of a rice pilaf. Healthy ingredients piled up for hearty cravings.
House Bacon Mac & Cheese
This scribe must had worked up an appetite, anticipating for DineLA Week.
The classic House Bacon Mac & Cheese, shell pasta drenched in three-cheese sauce, topped with a crunchy panko bread crust and dusted with house-made bacon, sure hits the spot.
Again, classic Americana pub food that should not fail and doesn't.
MCO (Moo-Cluck-Oink) Burger with Sweet Potato Teeter Tots glazed in Maple Syrup.
It ain't a gastropub; and it ain't Gen-X or Millennial unless you take the basic All-American Burger then soup it up. That's the pleasure of gastropub fare. It's simple comfort food done exceedingly well to qualify as "gourmet" in a not-so-snotty atmosphere. Ain't nothing wrong about that.
Since gastropub is an egalitarian place, The Federal Bar caters to both the boyfriend and the girlfriend...and their mates.
In other words, The Federal Bar's MCO (Moo-Cluck-Oink) Burger will please everyone, actually any time.
It may be part of their DineLA Dinner Menu but their MCO Burger, with fried egg topping a beef patty, bacon, lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli on a milk bun, served with an hearty side of Sweet Potato Teeter Tots is going to join those Late Night/Early Morning classics, such as Fried Chicken & Waffles and Ca'Brea's Broken Calzone. Those necessary In-Between Meals that soak up last night's booze while nourishing the body with protein and carbs and fat to absorb the toxins, first thing in the morning.
The MCO Burger with Sweet Potato Teeter Tots can double as breakfast. This scribe was somewhat shocked that most fast food franchises don't do this.
Yes, this is what your boyfriend really desires, after slamming a couple of beers and shots...and for your own hang0ver, the morning-after.
The Federal Bar's idea of nourishment.
Classic, Can't Go Wrong Beef Short Rib
The classic, can't-go-wrong Beef Short Rib in it's purest form, a real complete meal, not in its current sandwich mode that you see everywhere now-a-days.
This starving scribe was relieved by the classic Beef Short Rib, expertly roasted piled on classic mashed potatoes with grilled vegetables, drizzled in gravy, where sides aren't extras but essentially part of the meal.
Grilled Veggie Bowl with Cracked Wheat
Fearing you're not getting your above-average vegetables and fiber, you'll be surprised that the Grilled Veggie Bowl isn't a funky salad with faddish ingredients but old-fashion grain and vegetable meant to compliment the Beef Short Rib.
Another twist on a classic rice pilaf. This time, they replaced the rice with an even more traditional Cracked Wheat that goes deliciously well with Beef Short Ribs and Gravy. The roasted asparagus, peppers, carrots, and brussels with a lemon-basil vinaigrette, has a striking Fifties taste and texture when paired with the Beef Short Rib. Tastes and sounds like a retro Fifties Sunday Dinner. Again, remember, this Dine LA Dinner will and can be served on Sunday at The Federal Bar.
Light yet Pleasantly Sweet Red Sangria Poached White Fish
If all this hearty, beef and two sides are getting you heavy, take this chance during Dine LA and give The Federal Bar's once-in-a lifetime lighter fare of the Red Sangria Poached White Fish resting on a bed of creamy saffron quinoa risotto with English Peas and Carrots.
The sweetness of the Red Sangria Poached White Fish, is different from the candied Smoked Wings. The Red Sangria serves as a light coating of a glaze whereas the sweet whiskey sauce can afford to "candied" the heavier, richer meat of the house-smoked jumbo chicken wings.
Dealing with White Fish, the Red Sangria is a delicate glaze that doesn't drown or weigh down the delicate fish filet. Why Red Sangria? It probably more has to do with the Summer Season when fruits and fruit products are bountiful and doing something with them. Waste not, want not.
Glazing fish, without frying it, is a difficult technicality but this scribe was surprisingly delighted with light fruit glaze on top and flaky yet moist fish meat underneath.
Equally pleasantly surprised was the quinoa replacing rice in the peas and carrot risotto. Not one ounce of cream or milk in it. It's the quinoa that makes the risotto creamy.
The Red Sangria Poached White Fish on a quinoa risotto bed is the most unique and lightest dish during Dine LA Week at The Federal Bar.
Warm Rocky Road Skillet with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Unfortunately yet to be fair, folks can only order one of each appetizer, entree, and dessert during Dine LA. Darn.
The Federal Bar has two choices to pair with the heavy and the light fares.
Obviously, Warm Rocky Road Skillet with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is an hearty finish for the: House Bacon Mac & Cheese, Smoked Wings, MCO Burger, and Beef Short Rib.
Basically, it's an Americana camp-fire dessert to top off an All-American feast.
Again, it's an improvement over the graham cracker s'mores.
It's a homey but very comforting brownie dotted with marshmallows then baked in a cast-iron skillet then topped with a dollop of Vanilla Ice Cream.
Camp-fire treat but better.
Caramel Budino with Almond Biscotti
You need to fulfill your sweet tooth but you picked the lighter course of: Quinoa & Kale, Grilled Veggie Bowl, and Red Sangria Poached White Fish.
What to do?
The Caramel Budino with Almond Biscotti is when whipped cream meets vanilla pudding.
Looks are deceiving. Once you dig in, you'll discover the mason jar is full of Almond Biscottis in the budino pudding and topped with another biscotti.
Basically, The Federal Bar's Dine LA Dinner Summer Series is evenly split between hearty and light but they make sure that you'll wouldn't leave starving while making sure your wallet is still intact.
That's the glory of a gastropub. It's not a dive bar reeking of stinking drunks nor is it a snotty restaurant where they serve hors d'oeuvres, charging at full-meal prices. They're well-balanced enough to be fair.
The Federal Bar is fair. They care about pouring good quality beer, foaming out of the tap and quality meals to soak up the booze, in a unpretentious atmosphere, where nobody is a jerk.
Remember, Dine LA Restaurant Week is a two-weeks affair for both lunch and dinner with participating restaurants, on http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week/