Sunday, July 20, 2014

Food & Lib: The Local Peasant

Basil Pepper Martini // The Local Peasant

On a busy stretch of Ventura Blvd. in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood, there is - hidden away behind an unfortunately placed bus stop - a pub by the name of The Local Peasant.  Easy to miss due to its lack of visible signage, its large, wall-size open air windows give passersby a glimpse of the lively crowd inside.  I've frequented this fair establishment a handful of times over the past few years, and its become one of my favorite places to celebrate events with friends (birthdays, Bachelorette brunches, reunions with high school friends, etc.)  Or even a good place to mingle and meet new people - maybe even spot a celebrity or two having a low-key Sunday brunch away from the Hollywood crowds.

Last night, the event happened to be for the birthday of my dear friend, Heather.  What better time to take a look at the food and libations that have become staples for me during each of my visits?

Now, before I get into my favorite menu items, I must say first:  The Local Peasant is one of the only brunch locations in the San Fernando Valley that serves alcohol brunches.  In fact, they have an immensely popular Bloody Mary bar, and fantastic Red Sangria.  Highly recommend.

Now, for some evening fare.  My drink of choice is the Basil Pepper Martini ($10) (above-pictured).  Featured on their "Post-Prohibition Cocktail" list, this vodka-based martini is light and delicious, and the only drink I've ever had garnished with a crunchy yellow (or orange) bell pepper slice.  Basil is a common garnish, but no less effective in making this martini almost too easy to drink.  Pair with a few of their appetizers, and you'll be in for a very satisfying night.


Speaking of apps, or as the Local P's menu calls them, "Bar Snacks"... by far the most enjoyable snack option is the decadent Cheddar Cheese and Bacon-covered Pretzel ($7) (above-pictured, left).  Do yourself a favor:  Stop reading this blog, and drive over to Sherman Oaks right now.  I'll wait.  Order this pretzel, and be sure to ask for the side of White Chocolate Peanut Butter dipping sauce.  Believe me, you won't regret it.  You'll even probably get a "Oh yeah, eating it right!" from the waiter (as the wait staff will likely give this recommendation if you don't choose it yourself). 

The saltiness of the pretzel mixed with the salty-sweet creaminess of the sauce... it's just downright sinful.  And this is no shy portion!  The pretzel is easily the size of a normal person's face, and can absolutely be shared between two or more people.  Just be aware, you might fight a little over who gets the last bite.  Oh and that poor standard grain mustard that accompanies the order? ... yummy as you may have been on your own, you just can't compete.

After that pretzel, you will probably be satisfied enough to end your food exploration right there.  But if you're not, there is always a way to feed that salty bacon habit by trying the Bacon & Eggs ($7), the Local P's take on deviled eggs (above-pictured, right).  Topped with a tangy, almost spicy smoked bacon, these eggs are creamy and gone way too quickly.  The only downside is that, with four to a plate, you'd have to place a few more orders to really appease the whole table.  But they're worth it, and one of the better deviled egg options I've discovered in the Valley.

Their "Main Grub" is not to be missed, if you are also partaking in lunch or dinner.  The burgers are top-notch, but it's certainly worth foregoing beef for a taste of their Crispy Chicken Sandwich, newly added to the menu (not pictured).

The Local P has a second location in the Woodland Hills neighborhood, which I have yet to try.  I can't imagine the food & lib is any less to-die-for over there, though considering Sherman Oaks' proximity to other entertainment and bustling neighborhoods, this locale is probably your best bet for a good night out.  Smaller, more intimate tables in the front section, and a back room with a projector screening movies or events with long wooden tables to fit all your friends.

Neighborhood:  Sherman Oaks
Food:  Yes | menu
Full Bar:  Yes | menu

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