What’s old is new again — or, at least, very vibrant — in the western stretches of Hollywood today, as the longtime former Ye Coach & Horses space returns with youthful energy and a few nods to the past. More recently known as the Pikey, this staple Sunset Boulevard bar and restaurant has a hard-to-beat Los Angeles history (it’s reportedly where Quentin Tarantino first met Tim Roth, for one) that dates back nearly a century, and now there’s life inside once again thanks to none other than Liz Johnson and Will Aghajanian. Welcome, back, to Horses.
The new Horses is not only a return in form for one of the city’s vaunted old bar and restaurants, it’s a new beginning for Johnson and Aghajanian. Angelenos will know Johnson for her award-winning work at Freedman’s in Silver Lake (and at Mimi’s in New York City before that), and the national audience will know both her and Aghajanian as the former faces of the Catbird Seat, one of Nashville’s most-celebrated restaurants.
Together with their new culinary team, they’ve turning Horses into a playground for fresh California fare with a bistro sensibility. That means small bites, familiar flavors taken in new directions, plenty of cocktails and natural wine, and what looks to be the best new bistro burger in town. There are starters like braised cranberry beans and veal sweetbreads with frisée and capers, and mains like a roasted Cornish game hen with warm dandelion panzanella underneath, a cote de porc with baked peaches, and a steak grilled over vine cuttings — and don’t forget dessert, including a sheep’s milk cheesecake. The opening menu is below.
While Johnson and Aghajanian will be on-site often as owners and chefs, they have also tapped Brittany Ha and Lee Pallerino (both out of Roberta’s in Brooklyn) as co-executive chefs. Terence Leavey, previously of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Spago, and Cut, will run the room as general manager and wine director.
As for the space, the colorful three-room restaurant is a blend of the former tenant(s) on the right-hand side, down to the original molding and tall, skinny red booths, and a sunny new start complete with new streetside windows, skylights, and washes of yellow in the left-hand dining room. The back seating area, complete with its own wooden bar, acts as a carousel of colors thanks to artist Kacper Abolik, whose lit paintings hang throughout. The room can also be used for private parties, another nod to the quietly famous faces that long populated Ye Coach & Horses.
The new Horses opens formally on October 6 at 7617 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, keeping hours from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday to start. Expect brunch to follow down the line, with reservations available for all on Resy.
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