I must say I was truly surprised. I went to the grand opening and an industry mixer, and although I never tried the full experience, I was able to enjoy little bits and pieces of delicious food by LN2! LN2, a “modern gastro lounge,” opened early January 2019 with Chef Chris Robbins at the helm. The restaurant gets its name from the chemical symbol for liquid nitrogen (LN2), a substance that adds theatrics in the restaurant to both the cocktails and various dishes. This is a testament to the detail-oriented, chef driven food LN2 has to offer. Everything served was unique and interesting. Each dish, with its own flavor profile and nuances, Chef Chris Robbins and his restaurateur wife Mica Ray made for one stellar experience.
NJ restaurant was in this space previously, and while they had their own crowd, LN2 is a welcomed sight along a very hipster part of Melrose Ave in West Hollywood. Mica Ray did all of the interior design, she had her work cut out for her. She had some help from Maison Bertet Showroom on Beverly Blvd., they did some of the furniture that Mica Ray designed herself on paper, they also did some of the furniture for Crustacean Restaurant in Beverly Hills. Mica transformed this space into a lively modern experience, with deep purple plush velvet club chairs, lots of marble, a friendly bar, and cool graphic wallpaper and murals. There is a very user-friendly patio, which will make it the ideal place to come and meet up with your friends after a long week during those hot summer Los Angeles nights.
I couldn’t wait to do a proper tasting. For my readers, a piece of advice, if you love the food at a grand opening or catered affair, show them your love by going for a full sit down dinner!
Here’s What I Tried:
Proper Vodka Martini, it comes in nice large coupe glasses, for the perfect martini.
LN2 Cosmo with vodka, hibiscus, cranberry and lime. This cocktail is very festive. Its garnish reminded me of a peacock, and the combination is a feat in itself. After tasting it you too will know why it is their signature cocktail.
Blueberry Smash with vodka, cucumber, blueberry, lime, and mint, this is a very fresh light pairing of vodka with blueberry, a nice thirst quenching cocktail.
Melrosita with Mezcal, centerba, agricanto, lime, and agave, a sexy blend of liquors, that packs a punch.
Soup of the season – Cream of Spinach. Farmer’s market inspired. I can always tell how good the food will be from the soup. If a Chef can make a killer soup, then the rest is easy-street. This soup was so delicious and great to the last drop.
Snacks, with Furikake chickpea fritters, wood fired bread, avocado goddess dip, and tapenade. The presentation is just fantastic, and the flavors all together make for one incredible starter.
Hamachi, with aji amarillo, kizami wasabi, lime, apple, nori, shoyu pearls, avocado, wonton crips. Lovely colors add to the overall experience, the Hamachi is cubed and extremely fresh, with a nice tag from the citrus, a true winner.
Shoppe fries, with pickle chips, mango-caper ketchup, and piquillo aioli. This was a very fun way to start this meal, the fried pickle chips with the two sauces do not disappoint.
Caesar, with romaine, butter brioche croutons, kale, anchovy, and poached egg. The egg oozes its lovely yolk all over, creating the perfect sauce for this great salad, topped with crispy and light croutons.
The wood fired oven makes all the difference in the world for LA’s pizza aficionados.
Duck confit, with goat cheese, butternut squash, basil, roasted plum hoisin. Oh my goodness, truly a must have. It is sweet and cheesy, with the precise amount of everything. This is one of my all time favorite pizzas.
Shrooms, with Taleggio, truffle sauce, candied peppers, arugula, thyme, and herb oil. Another off the charts pizza, wow! You just have to try.
Caramelized fig, with saint agur blue cheese, hazelnuts, onion jam, arugula, aged balsamic. This pizza was served to me after my entrees, as it is kind of a desert pizza. However, whenever you order this pizza, it will be tantalizing and delicious.
Crispy chicken sandwich, with jidori chicken, brussels slaw, butter lettuce, pickles, wasabi dynamite sauce, and tomato jam. The chicken melts in your mouth. There are lots of fried chicken specialty restaurants opening up in Los Angeles, but this will give them all a run for their money, it is just that good.
Black Cod, with sauce Vera Cruz, clams, roasted tomato, fennel, potatoes, chorizo, and saffron. The clams pop into your mouth with incredible foam, and the fish is flaky and tender. A great entrée!
Short rib, with mashed potatoes, baby vegetables, charred onion, and hondashi jus. For the meat and potato lover, it hits all the right notes.
Buffalo duck wings, with crispy duck leg, sriracha-tangerine glaze, celery, five-spice sherry caramel, and root vegetables. This is a very inventive dish. I can’t say enough about these lovely duck wings; the duck is tender and sweet, with an incredible caramel glaze.
Lamp Shank with creamy Taleggio polenta, Bordeaux reduction sauce, mushroom glaze and caramelized shallots. This entree was by far my favorite. Call ahead and see when they are featuring this dish again – It is heaven on a plate.
Sautéed spinach, this spinach comes with a hint of garlic slightly cooked, making for an impeccable side dish.
Mashed potatoes, these potatoes will blow your hair back! They are creamy and smooth, everything you would want from a mashed potato side dish.
Mushroom Ragou, this was an ideal accompaniment with the short rib.
Market vegetables, these veggies are colorful and fresh. It feels good to be able to include such a healthy side in my meal.
Carmel Corn with kumquat, on a waffle cup, this is sweet and sour, and also amazing. Vanilla crème brulee whipped cream in a waffle cup, my favorite one of the night, I just love vanilla and caramel. All I can say is WOW!
Milk and cookies with chocolate syrup and balsamic pearls, the balsamic pearls are the highlight. They pop in your mouth and are a very interesting combination with the chocolate, but somehow work beautifully.
They have a whole area designated just for their handmade ice cream. You pick your favor, all of the other fixings, and you have one heck of a flawless ice cream delight. Chef Rodolpho gets a huge “bravo” from me. The ice cream itself is so specialized, you almost can’t describe it.
Vermentino Di Sardegna, Giunco, Sardinia, 2017. This is a fresh fruity wine, one you can tell is Italian. It was a great start to my night, and the correct balance between the Cesar dressing and the anchovies.
Chardonnay, Starmont, Napa Valley 2015. This wine was made for the Cod. It is a bit oaky and enhanced the unique Vera Crus sauce.
Chardonnay, Blindfold, Santa Barbara 2016. I loved this wine with the Duck confit pizza. The pizza is sweet and the wine is a huge contrast, which makes for a delightful experience.
Red Blend, Cline, “Cashmere” Sonoma 2016, this is a lovely wine with the short rib. It is jammy with a bit of a creamy texture, which adds another component of flavor to the enjoyable short rib dish.
Malbec, La Perlita, Mendoza, 2016. This wine was designed to be paired with the lamb, plain and simple.
I had one of the best meals ever. Their take on inventive, creative, and casual cuisine will make you want to come back for more. There is a bit of Italian influence over this delectable food, but the real story here is their Chef’s take on otherwise unexciting cuisine. Every now and then you find a new spot that engages you with innovative food, and LN2 Pizza Shoppe is just that. Don’t let the name fool you, yes their pizza is delightful and fantastic, but all of the menu items will put a huge smile on your face and palate.
LN2 pizza shoppe is located on Melrose Avenue in the heart of Los Angeles. LN2 is where the chef creates his own whimsical take on what he calls “the modern gastro lounge.” Utilizing his fine dining background and passion for tastes that “make us happy,” Chef Robbins and the team at LN2 offer an innovative, playful approach to comfort food right here in West Hollywood.
LN2 Pizza Shoppe
7212 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles 90046
Phone: (323) 917-5178
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday – 5:00pm to 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday – 5:00pm to 11:00pm, Sunday – 11:00am to 3:00pm and 5:00pm to 10:00pm, and Closed Mondays
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.