Friends & Family is located in a neighborhood better known for Thai food, though it might take you a couple of times driving by to find it. With no obvious street signage, the dark gray exterior doesn’t look like a restaurant, except for a couple of tables and chairs outside. To locate it, look for Jumbo’s Clown Room, a strip club where Hole’s Courtney Love once worked, and then look across the street.
Renowned chef Roxanna Jullapat and her husband Daniel Mattern, formerly of Cooks County, opened up Friends & Family last year, bringing their market-driven cafe to Thai Town. At this casual restaurant, you place your order at the counter and then choose a table from the bright spacious dining area.
Jullapat, famed for her baking skills, started the charity Bakers Will Bake. At the counter is a display of her work, from croissants to cookies. If none of the baked goods manage to tempt you, there’s an even ice cream bar featuring their housemade ice creams.
Only open during the day, the menu consists of breakfast items, sandwiches and prepared deli salads.
Oh, and also my favorite, fried chicken.
We arrived a half hour before closing, so most of the baked goods were sold out, including the rye chocolate chip cookie (which I had been hoping for). As it was a warm day, my daughter could not resist getting a scoop of cookies and cream ice cream, which had a such a high concentration of cookies that it was more like cookie crumbs with a bit of ice cream binding it together.
I, on the other hand, could not resist getting a piece of fried chicken, even though I was stuffed from my Thai lunch. The fried chicken just looked so tantalizing that even my pesco-vegetarian husband remarked that it looked good.
I like cold fried chicken so this was right up my alley, with the chicken fried in a lightly seasoned batter. I told myself that I wouldn’t eat the skin, but failed.
With almost all of the pastries being sold, I made do with one oatmeal date cookie. It turned out to be a great choice, the dates a nice substitution for the usual raisins. The cookies was thick with oats, crisp on the edges and chewy brown sugary goodness in the middle. Since it had dates and oatmeal, I could fool myself into thinking that the cookie was actually healthy.
Speaking of health food, Friends & Family has a macro bowl (brown rice, sprouted legumes, avocado, pickled beets, sugar snap peas, cucumber, yuzu vinaigrette & toasted seeds) for breakfast, which is the most popular item there on Ubereats. If that’s not your sort of thing (it’s definitely not mine), come early, way before the 3pm closing, when you’ll have a wonderful assortment of baked goods to enjoy. Just look for the strip club sign.
Location – 5150 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
Website – http://www.friendsandfamilyla.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Friendly – Yes