Dining

A More Modern Churrascaria

What to get at Karen and Quinn Hatfield's newest, Odys + Penelope
Karen and Quinn Hatfield | Photo: Courtesy of Odys + Penelope 

Karen and Quinn Hatfield are back.

Just weeks after the passing of the married team's beloved fine dining restaurant, Hatfield's, the duo is back at it with a more casual affair, Odys + Penelope. Though it's named for The Odyssey's King Odysseus and his wife, the restaurant is far from antiquated. The space is modern and industrial, with Corinthian columns and olive trees for character, and at its center, is a stunning open wood-fired grill and smoker.

But don't expect a traditional churrascaria here. Meat takes up only a fraction of the menu, supplemented by grilled seafood, crostini, and plenty of seasonal sides—all done à la Hatfield (i.e., beautifully).

Case in point: the sirloin cap ($24). The thick, dry-aged favorite of Brazilian steakhouses is seasoned and slowly cooked on the churrasco, then sliced and topped with paper-thin, paprika-dusted onion rings. The meat is presented like prime rib: pink in the middle, with a side of creamy horseradish aïoli.

Chocolate pie with vanilla malt ice cream | Photo: Stacey Sun

Condiments go beyond chimichurri: Apart from the aforementioned horseradish cream, there's also grainy mustard butter, béarnaise, hazelnut romesco, Persian garlic, tomatillo mostarda and a barbecue-style Western sweet sauce, which makes an appearance on the lacquered short ribs ($38). The ribs are smoked for six hours, resulting in fall-off-the-bone tender meat with a smoky-sweet finish, amped up by the bacon-infused Western sauce. "Quinn is from North Carolina," Karen explains, "so his sauce is inspired by that, plus Memphis-style barbecue and a few of his own touches."

There's room for California on the menu, too. Vegetables abound, like the lightly battered and fried maitake mushrooms topped with fried lemon slices and tangy garlic sauce ($9), charred green beans coated in spicy green curry ($6) and the Farmers Dozen ($14) salad with pepita-lime vinaigrette.

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And save room for dessert, because it wouldn't be a Hatfield production without killer baked goods. Karen's creamy chocolate pie in a buttery rye crust ($10) was one of the best bites of the evening, and even better with peanut crumble and a scoop of vanilla-malt ice cream. The cornmeal ricotta fritters ($9), served with salted honey butter, fall somewhere between the beignets at Hatfield's and the doughnuts at the couple's bakery, Sycamore Kitchen.

Prices may be a bit steep, but that's not stopping the hip young things from crowding the wooden booths and chef's counter at the open kitchen. The bar, too, makes a statement with global wines and cocktails like a caipirinha muddled with kumquat marmalade and lime ($11) or fino sour ($11) made with sherry, pisco, egg white, lemon and bitters. The South American standbys aren't exactly traditional, but that's exactly the point.

Odys + Penelope 127 S. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles CA 90036 323-939-1033

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