Blood Pudding for Breakfast at the Palihouse

You may not have known this, but there’s a huge number of Brits in Los Angeles. Apparently, the first chance they get, they flee the overcast and rainy climes of their home country for the most opposite climate they can find. Since Australia is usually ruled out, they end up here. Such was the case with Englishman Brendan Collins. The chef at the Palihouse Holloway, he’s been curing his homesickness by cooking himself a Brit Sunday Roast every week from 11am to 4pm in the Hall, the hotel’s outdoor dining area.

I took another Brit escapee, Lucy Walker (a documentary filmmaker who made the brilliant films Blindsight and The Devil’s Playground) to see what she thought. She interpreted the menu for me, explaining such items as toad in the hole, Yorkshire pudding, and blood pudding. (We didn’t need fish and chips explained to us, thankyouverymuch.)

It’s a cute idea — there are Brit Sunday papers on hand, and we had an Aussie waiter who sounded authentic enough to let us convince ourselves were on an English holiday. It turns out Collins is prepping for his gastropub, the Hall Bar and Grill, which is going to be in the next Palihouse (on Vine) sometime in the near future (the Spring 2009 opening date has obviously been delayed). Says Kazu Namise, the marketing director at the Palihouse: “Our hotel is also the L.A. home to British travelers and entertainers, so having a touch of home for them on Sunday has been a nice touch!”

It was very quaint. However, I learned one thing: blood pudding and I will never be friends.

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