Is It Any Good?

Roy Choi’s newest, vegetable oriented venture, just one flight up from Pot…in Koreatown.

Commissary at the Line Hotel on Urbanspoon

I don’t think I expected there to be a greenhouse on the roof of the Line Hotel.

Yeah, I said it…Greenhouse. Right up on the second floor, right outside the pool.

I have no idea how long it’s been there, or if it was a direct creation of the Commissary at the Line Hotel. But it’s there, in all it’s green welded iron glory.

Hm?

Yeah, I know what you mean. Greenhouse and Commissary aren’t two ideas you see bumping up together that often. But since the Commissary is all about (or mostly about) Vegetables this go ‘round, then the Greenhouse thing starts to make sense.

Besides, this is a Roy Choi Joint. I’m here for the food.

Now, since we’re talking about the Line Hotel, we are talking about the same directions, same parking and same area that houses Roy Choi’s other venture, Pot.Commissary at the Line Hotel

(Seriously, is he taking over the Line Hotel? I mean, that would be a genius move for him, for us and more importantly for his pocketbook.)

Pot is going to stare at you from across the lobby, daring you, taunting you. Your first impulse will be to go inside and indulge in a little Banchan, Roy Choi style. But instead, after you’ve given your car keys to the Valet stand, you’ll hang an immediate right, find the elevator and head for the second floor.

Hang another left, go through the doors, and suddenly you’re outside, facing the Commissary at the Line Hotel.

There are some seats outside as well as inside. I didn’t pick a rapturous sunny day to come visit, so I’m sure I missed some of the beauty of the place, golden hued sunlight peeking through the windowpanes, lighting your meal, warming the bar where you have your—

—yeah, forget all that. Like I said, I’m here for the food.

One bite in, and you’ll feel you’re in Chef Choi’s hands all over again. Just like your first 3am Meatball at Chego, or your first Rib at A-Frame, that punch, that sunshine will hit your tongue, and you will be sent to that magical place Bourdain keeps talking about where nothing hurts, and everything is magical.

Besides, you’ll want seconds.

Commissary is built along a different philosophy from Pot just downstairs, even though it looks like they share the same kitchen and reservation system. Even though this is a mainly a Vegetable-oriented menu, there will be the occasional sprinkling of bacon here and there. This is one restaurant were I’m going to stress scrolling down and reading the Safety tip below.

Another concept at work here is Tapas. Granted, this isn’t Spanish food Roy Choi is making here, but the idea of small plate dining is what Commissary is all about. (Am I right, is this Roy’s first shot at Tapas-style dining? I think I’m right.)

(I’m pretty sure I’m right.)

This is a great place. I’m just sorry I’m getting on the bandwagon a little late, but this is definitely someplace, folks who like Roy Choi’s cooking, who like good food, hell, who just want to have a good time, should come and visit.

Greenhouse. Go figure.

 

WHAT SHOULD I GET?: This is going to be rather interesting, since the menu is…well, a bit odd.

What do I mean?

Okay, about the Menu.

The Bok Choy at the Commissary at the Line Hotel.

The Bok Choy at the Commissary at the Line Hotel.

This is Chef Roy Choi’s…oddest menus…at least oddest looking menu.

No, the selections aren’t strange, unique or weird, it’s that’s…well, the menu’s a pictogram.

Yeah, a pictogram. Restrain any urge to mark it up and yell BINGO. That’s your menu. Commissary is going to need it back.

You will handed a green card, and it’s got a lot of olde-timey, olde fashioned pictures of…well, food items. These are the principal ingredients of your dish. You select the picture you want, and let Chef Choi take it from there.

My first visit to Commissary (and there will be many more to come), I went for the Egg, the Bok Choi, and the Asparagus.

The "Egg" at the Commissary at the Line Hotel.

The “Egg” at the Commissary at the Line Hotel.

Since the menu is a pictogram, and the other elements of the dish are…well, not exactly available to you, either at the time of dining or online…I can’t describe them to you here.

And it’s also why I really, really, want you to read the Important Safety Tip down below.

 

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Okay, because I can’t tell what else goes into the dish beside the “Egg” or the “Asparagus”, I can’t tell if you if they conflict with any dietary concerns or food allergies you might have.

So, it is very important that before you order, you let your server know what may ail you (in my case, peanuts and fish) so that the magicians working in the kitchen can adjust accordingly. And don’t worry you’re not insulting anyone back there by making this request. I get the distinct feeling that the Cooks back there are well prepared to make adjustments and even see if as a chance to experiment a little.

Also, let’s remember. The restaurant is on the second floor, and at my last visit, the signal leading you to Commissary wasn’t 100% obvious. If you can’t find it fast, be sure to ask someone.

And finally, Commissary doesn’t have a website of its own set up, at least not yet. They have a page on the Line Hotel website. If you want to make reservations, go to the Eat At Pot website and make them there.

 

PARKING: Allow me to quote myself from my Pot review, because…Parking for the Commissary is the same thing.

Easy…in that your only real option is the Line Hotel Valet. It’s going to run you about $8, if you get validation from the Restaurant. You can try to find Street Parking, but…good luck with that.

 

MAP DIRECTIONS:
Commissary at the Line Hotel
3515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Tel: (213) 368-3030

Hours:
Daily: 7:00 am – 11:00 pm