After reading about my sister’s experience at Son of a Gun, I was immediately fascinated by how interesting the food sounded. Given that the food at Animal was pretty tasty, I felt somewhat secure in what I could expect from Son of a Gun. So I went ahead and made reservations for the next time I was planning on being down in Southern California. My brother and sister-in-law (aka Smooth Obturator and Triple T) picked me up from the airport and we headed straight to the restaurant. It was already pretty packed, but we didn’t have to wait too long for a table. The restaurant had a strange decor. Considering it’s billed as a seafood restaurant, it makes sense seeing nautical wall decorations, but alongside the giant swordfish, life savers and fishing rods there were antlers and deer heads. I wonder if it’s a nod to Animal.
While we waited, I noticed that Whitney Port (from The Hills and The City fame) was standing right behind us also waiting for a table. Granted, she is not that big of a star, but she has been on TV more than I have. If you look at the top left picture, you’ll see that she’s the blond leaning against the wall.
Anyways, on to the food…. my sister raved quite a bit about the Shrimp Toast Sandwich and how she deeply regretted not having ordered one for just herself. So we all decided to get our own and boy, was it a wise decision. The toast was quite buttery, and the shrimp cake sandwiched in between was very tasty, but it was the herbs and sriracha mayo that really gave the entire sandwich its distinctly Asian-esque. In fact, there seemed to be a little bit of fish sauce mixed in with the sriracha mayo, so it really almost tasted Vietnamese. The entire thing was a little bit oily in large part due to the crispy fried toast, but I still really enjoyed it.
The Lobster Roll was another dish not meant to be shared, even less so than the Shrimp Toast Sandwich, because it was so very small. Like the the Shrimp Toast Sandwich, the mini bread roll was more buttery and oily than it probably needed to be, but it’s probably would made it taste so delicious. The lobster was mixed with celery and a lemon aioli and topped with what tasted like home made potato chips. The chips didn’t taste like much, but they added a nice crunch to the lobster mix. This dish was definitely a winner, but admittedly, there wasn’t more than a bite or two to the Lobster Roll to fully justify the price.
After two sinfully tasty dishes, the Hiramasa Poke came out and represented a strikingly fresh and light contrast to the meal. Like its predecessors, the serving was quite small, but unlike pokes I’ve had before, the flavor profile was quite different. Instead of sesame, soy and seaweed, the fish was prepared with oranges, yuzu, peaches and Serrano chiles. It tasted much fruitier and sweetier which made it a great palate cleanser, but it didn’t have the same flavor punch to make it very memorable. A nice dish overall especially when you’re wanting to balance out the meal.
While we waited to be seated, we saw many orders of the Fried Chicken Sandwich pass by with its large heap of spicy b&b pickle slaw. It looked quite appetizing to say the least, but we ended up ordering one to share amongst us. The chicken was crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, but I think it was the nice flavor combination of the slaw that I really enjoyed. It was a little tangy with a nice spicy kick. There supposedly was a rooster aioli as well, but I couldn’t discern any sriracha flavoring.
By calling the next dish, “Peel and Eat Shrimp”, I think they wanted to emphasize (to people like my lazy brother) that the shrimps needed to be peeled before they could be eaten. The shrimps were drenched in so much seasoning that it tasted way too salty with the skin on. At the same time, the skin on the shrimp was so thick and difficult to completely take off that it became a bit of a pain to eat. On the flip side, the shrimps were a pretty big in size and although the seasoning was tasty, it tasted even better with the lime mustard dipping sauce which really tasted like honey mustard to me.
The last dish we ordered was the Soft Shell Crab which was drizzled with a green tomato piccalilli and small bits of bacon. This was equally delicious although equally rich. The crab was battered and fried, but I really liked the actual taste of the crab inside. It didn’t have that grainy, odd taste almost like I’m eating innards, but instead, it tasted like real crab meat. The mix of piccalilli with bacon reminded me of a ranch bacon burger or something. It was really quite tasty even though it was a little bit oily.
The Flourless Chocolate Cake was okay, but then I’m not a big fan of chocolate. Honestly, it kind of tasted more like chocolate crumbles, but overall, I do think the flavors of the caramelized banana and peanuts went very well with the chocolate crumbles. It was sweet, salty and balanced.
Although the Pound Cake probably wasn’t all that special, I preferred it more, because of my tendency toward fruity flavors. It was essentially a strawberry shortcake, but I liked the way the pound cake was a little grilled and crispy.
Overall, I really did like the food a lot. The Shrimp Toast was probably my favorite dish of the night, but everything else was still very solid.
Son of a Gun
8370 West 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
PAFO Ratings for Son of a Gun:
Ambiance 2½ stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 3½ stars