Prado, Los Angeles

Chrissy ON Jul 17, 2013 AT 4:50 pm

by Chrissy Iley

When I first started coming to Los Angeles I used to go to the Ivy on Robertson and the Ivy At The Shore in Santa Monica. They very much embraced a time. They were the hippest and coolest restaurants of their day – delicious food and celebrity spotting.

Prado, Los Angeles

Nowadays I go once a year around Oscar week. Same menu, same faces, but very high prices.

The chef there was Javier Prado. He created the unique menu. Everyone went for the Louisiana Crab Cakes or the Black Sauce Shrimps.
My friend told me that these famous Ivy dishes and more can be found at Javier’s own restaurant Prado. Who knew that for years Prado’s fusion cuisine of Caribbean and Creole was right there, far more relaxed and less precious than the Ivy.

The restaurant is on Larchmont Boulevard, which has been called the Rodeo Drive of East LA. The street itself is a foodie paradise with cute boutiques, with a vintag-y vibe and a farmer’s market at the weekend.

There are some lavish houses nearby – Melanie Griffiths and Antonio Banderas and Ellen DeGeneres are all locals. Much cooler than Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

The restaurant itself has a colonial meets New Orleans feel with its giant gold leaf chandeliers, its walls in yellow ochre and sage green, its ceilings painted with clouds and cherubs. The service was not over-attentive or fussy but almost immediately upon arrival rosé sangria was delivered. Sangria is such an easy thing to get wrong. The wrong mix of fruits can so easily destroy the wine. The traditional red sangria was also available, but the pink sangria was incredible. Worth going for pink sangria alone.

We tried the Camarones Negros; big juicy jumbo shrimp in an incredible black pepper sauce with herbs and pineapple. I’d tasted something like it on the Ivy’s menu but this seemed spicier, fresher. It had an edge. We also sampled the Louisiana Crab Cakes; sweet, spicy, juicy.

I spied Cajun Shrimp Pizza and Chicken Enchiladas. Jamaican Tamales and the mesquite-grilled Lime Chicken, also a signature dish.
We went for the Spicy Corn Chowder – an incredible soup which manages to be creamy and light, punchy yet cosy. Fresh corn off the cob, herbs and peppers make it refreshing yet creamy comforting. It comes with homemade bread and herb and olive oil dip which in itself is gorgeous.

More pink sangria was had and we left with a desire to go back soon.

Prado Restaurant, 244 North Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004. Tel: 323.467.3871.

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