“Something That’s Familiar, in a World That is Incredibly Unfamiliar to All of Us”
This week the We Know WeHo team is joined by none other than Craig Susser from West Hollywood’s institutional comfort food go-to, Craig’s LA.A little over nine years ago, Craig Susser opened Craig’s LA in the West Hollywood Design District on famous Melrose Avenue.
The Design District really says it best, “Craig’s made a splash back then, and the restaurant is just as notable today.” Craig’s is called a modern throw back and hasproven to betherestaurant hot spot, or as Zagat coined it, “a sure celeb hang.” Formerly at Dan Tana’s, Craig Susser opened his own American restaurant, perfecting a high-end, comfort food menu that keeps new and loyal customers returning again and again.
Craig’s guests describe the restaurant as updated old-school, intimate, clubby, and warm. A nightly mixture of regular clientele who are part of the Craig’s family and visitors from around the globe enjoy refined comfort food inspired by familiar favorites, and guests’ culinary cravings executed at an elevated level.Some restaurants try to educate, some try to push the envelope. Craig Susser and Executive Chef Kursten Kizer (formerly of the Post Ranch Inn) just want you to sit back, relax and enjoy.
Craig’s goal is to provide a memorable dining experience. The restaurant embraces a culture of “yes” – which means satisfying a variety of tastes and dietary parameters from vegan to carnivore. These efforts are reflected in the menu’s range, from retro favorites such pigs-in-a-blanket and meatloaf to cioppino, steaks, and vegan options, such as vegan chicken parm and spaghetti squash primavera.”
Tracy and Maxine have a very open and raw conversation with this West Hollywood icon who portrays a friendly, baseball-New-York-feeling vibe. Craig’s has a “yes” culture that includes a pivot of food-to-go that became essential in this new pandemic environment. And, the food to-go at Craig’s, which includes all the favorite classic menu items, travels really well and is like getting it in the restaurant.
Craig’s is delivering and servingcomfort food in a time when “everybody wants something that makes them feel normal.”Creating outstanding upscale comfort food is something Craig’s has perfected with popular dishes such as the filet over blue cheese ravioli, chicken parmigiana, honey truffle chicken and even pigs in a blanket.We find out that the pizzas are a hidden gem on the menu and the bread basket it worth the gluten cheat with a Best Bread Basket award from the Los Angeles Times.
Vegan has always been a regular part of the menu at Craig’s and has become a favorite for all with standout customer favorites including the vegan chicken parmigiana and vegan spaghetti Bolognese. Craig’s also created a vegan ice cream line from premium cashews with several flavors including Sunset & Strawberry, Melrose Mint Chip, Killa’ Vanilla and Kursten’s PB Krunch.
Craig’s Vegan Ice Cream is used in Fatburger Shakes and can be found in the freezer aisle of Erewhon, Gelson’s, Bristol Farms and Mother’s grocery stores. Future plans include a scoop shop at Resorts World in Las Vegas due to open in the summer of 2021.
Craig shares that “Surviving … requires us to do whatever it takes to keep the restaurant open,” and lucky for you Craig’s fans that includes a cool dining vibe on the (new) back patio, a new brunch offering on the weekend from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. offering delicious comfort food menu items such as a crab omelet, French toast, breakfast quesadilla, breakfast pizza, avocado toast and a burger.
This year, you can leave the Thanksgiving cooking to Craig and Chef Kursten and order a re-heatable holiday turkey feast and all your favorite side dishes ($110 for two people). You can send a little piece of Craig’s to your friends and family who live outside of West Hollywood via Goldbelly which will deliver a three-pack of Craig’s chocolate pizzas to their doorstep. Craig’s Vegan Ice Cream can also be shipped nationwide by ordering on their website.
When he isn’t dining on comfort food from his own kitchen, Craig enjoys local favorites Olivetta, Cecconi’s, Catch and sushi at Matsumoto.
Additional notes in Food & Fashion this week from Tracy and Maxine include a Sunset Strip report of long lines at newly opened Prince Street Pizza plus Night + Market has opened its doors again for takeout and delivery. Tracy couldn’t wait and took herself to Happy Hour at the newly opened Madre serving authentic Oaxacan food with a long list of specialty mezcals and mouth-watering molé (insider tip – order the tamale molé). You can enjoy Happy Hour at Madre Monday-Friday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and you might have another new weekend brunch spot if the patio at Craig’s is fully-reserved.
The Weekly Do Good makes a resurgence with the Covenant House Virtual Sleep Out Fundraiser to raise money for homeless youth and a children’s PJ drive atHuntington Meats in the Farmer’s Market at the Grove.
Be sure to check out our @weknowweho Instagram stories daily for more insider tips and Thanksgiving dinner options from our local restaurants.