Son of a Gun
8370 W. 3rd Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90048
I’m so glad to say that my apartment finally has WiFi now, so I no longer have to spend the day typing this up at a Starbucks nearby. I also finally got to try Son of a Gun! After a great dining experience at Animal, I’ve always wanted to try Son of a Gun (both restaurants are opened by John Shook and Vinny Dotolo) and finally had the chance, along with a small USC reunion.
Here’s a tip if you’ve never been to Son of a Gun before: It’s really hard to find. You won’t find it if you’re looking for a big sign that says “Son of a Gun” at the top of the building or on the valet parking sign. Yup, I made a few u-turns and drove around in at least three circles before I pulled up at the wrong valet and was directed to the right place.
You may be wondering what the term “son of a gun” means, as we were all interested in why the catchy name. Turns out, some of the sailors’ ships in the 1700-1800s would have “prostitute rooms,” which were located next to the ship’s big guns. When the prostitute got pregnant and gave birth to a child, the child was referred as a “son of a gun.” Since the restaurant serves mainly seafood but didn’t want a tacky name, they settled on Son of a Gun.
Since Son of a Gun is tapa-style and we were in a party of six, we were able to taste a good variety of dishes that night. At the end of the meal, we alls tarted asking each other for our top three dishes and bottom three dishes. I figured this would be how I would write this blog post. Keeping in mind that one of my many loves is fusion food, it was pretty hard to come up with my list.
Top 3 Dishes:
Uni, burrata, button mushroom, yuzu:
The uni layered over the soft, light burrata cheese was perfect. It was pretty much the epitome of a dish that “melts in your mouth.” I also loved the spritz of yuzu sauce over the uni, giving it a more refreshing taste. Since uni has a strong taste, I thought pairing it with a light cheese was pretty much the perfect combination. In short, where else can you find uni paired with cheese? Though this ended up on bottom of some of my friends’ lists, I would still recommend this dish.
Lobster roll, celery, lemon aioli:
To put this simply, this is a must-try. I loved how they slit the pan-fried brioche on the top and placed the lobster on top. The way my friend taught us to eat it was to let the lobster drop into the bun. A much cleaner way of eating lobster rolls without having anything fall out. This was also probably one of the best lobster rolls I’ve had in the US. I loved how the lobster meat was chunkier, giving the whole dish a little more texture. Most of the other lobster rolls I’ve had would shred the meat a little finer so I get the feeling that I’m not sure where my meat is sometimes.
Roasted escolar, truffled pomme puree, creamed corn, chicken jus:
You might have figured out from my previous posts that I tend to stay away from ordering fish from a western restaurant. I grew up in China where our fish are fresh and steamed to the exact second to cook it perfectly. It’s a hard skill to acquire but also important to retaining the taste and quality of the meat. The pan-fried escolar was cooked perfectly at Son of a Gun, unlike most other restaurants that tend to overcook the fish. I felt that there was a lot of complexity in the dish from pan-frying the fish, to the truffle mashed potatoes, to the creamed corn. All those different flavors blended together very nicely!
Bottom 3 Dishes:
Yellowfin tuna sashimi, san bai zu, scallion:
Tuna is tuna and you can get this dish pretty much everywhere.
Hamachi, galbi vinaigrette, gala apple, radish sprout:
Again, this dish was pretty much just pretty common and you can order something similar in other Japanese-fusion restaurants in LA. I’m not saying it’s bad but compared to other dishes I tasted during dinner, this was one of the least surprising ones.
Melon salad, herbs, serrano, pickled shallot:
So I’ll stop with placing all the other raw fish at the bottom of my list. The melon salad also made it onto my bottom 3 list because I didn’t think it was too special. They did drizzle a sauce over the melon but melon is melon and that was what I tasted for the most part. The little bit of herbs they sprinkled over the salad did not really give the salad a truly unique taste that I found in the other dishes.
Son of a Gun is definitely a restaurant that I will re-visit and recommend my friends to try out. Since I’m a big on fusion food, I definitely loved it!
Joey Wong ♥