Cooks County – Los Angeles

Cooks County - Los Angeles

I am currently writing from Cook County, Illinois. Chicago, to be exact, where I’m spending the week ever so delicately balancing work commitments and gastronomical pursuits. As timing would have it, I’m overdue to write about my mom’s birthday dinner at Cooks County. What a coincidence!

Cooks County - Los Angeles

Opened in late 2011, Cooks County is a sweet ‘lil neighborhood spot serving up seasonal fare that comforts and delights.

The kitchen is headed by Chef Daniel Mattern. He spent time at Campanile, Lucques, AOC, and AMMO here in Los Angeles, and Clarklewis in Portland, before opening Cooks County with his partner, Pastry Chef Roxana Jullapat. She also spent time at Campanile, Lucques, AOC, AMMO, and Clarklewis. What a coincidence!

Cooks County - Los Angeles

We started off the night with four appetizers. The first to arrive was the Spretzel ($3) with mustard dipping sauce. Made of spelt flour and garnished with coarse salt, the pretzel was good but not outstanding. Had it been baked to order, the pretzel would’ve really been something. The mustard, on the other hand, was excellent.

Cooks County - Los Angeles

The carbohydrate that had the table positively giddy was the Cast Iron Bread ($3) with farmhouse butter, which was served up warm and crusty. Paying for bread and butter’s all good when it’s this good.

Cooks County - Los Angeles

To balance out our spread just a touch, we ordered an excellent shaved Brussels sprouts salad with apples, smoked gouda, and salted almonds. The sharp cheese and sweet fruit paired fantastically with the heap of greens.

Cooks County - Los Angeles

The chicken liver pate on toast points didn’t quite reach the heights of Pizzeria Mozza’s, but truth be told, I haven’t encountered too many specimens that have. Still, this chunky, slightly-metallic spread made a fine impression.

Cooks County - Los Angeles

For The Astronomer’s main course, he couldn’t resist the orecchiette with sausage. The house-made “ears,” toothsome and then some, were just as satisfying as he had hoped.

Cooks County - Los Angeles

Mom also dabbled in Cooks’ house-made pastas. Hers, a spinach, mushroom, and pappardelle number, was silky and hearty. I stole more than my fair share of bites. Ribbons—we can’t resist ‘em.

Cooks County - Los Angeles

Even though I usually zero in on noodles, I selected the seafood soup ($23) this evening. The gentle, brine-kissed broth contained a bounteous array of Dungeness crab, grilled fish, white shrimp, mussels, and clams. Grilled toast was served on the side. The shrimp were slightly overcooked for my taste, but the fish couldn’t have been any more perfect—flaky and moist.

Cooks County - Los Angeles

To finish, we shared a slice of “Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie” with maple marshmallow cream and salted pepitas. I loved how it tasted genuinely like pumpkin. Roxana Jullapat has a way with sweets, and I wished that I had saved room to sample more. Perhaps next time I’ll return just for desserts!

Cooks County
8009 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 323-653-8009

One year ago: {swoon} Carnitas Eight Ways at Metro Balderas
Two years ago: Kobawoo House – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Three years ago: Saw’s BBQ – Birmingham
Four years ago: Pasta e Fagioli
Five years ago: Steven’s Steakhouse‎ – Los Angeles (Commerce)
Six years ago: Phạm Nguyên Bakery – Ho Chi Minh City
Seven years ago: Alma de Cuba – Philadelphia

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5 Responses to “Cooks County – Los Angeles”


  • I want to love this place. I do…but I have just never had a good experience here…and it makes me sad.

  • So happy to hear you’re in Chicago! This is the place I call home and I loved reading you’re previous foodie adventures from here! Enjoy your stay!

  • I have the same feeling as nomsnotbombs. Had such high hopes and feel I’m not quite “getting it” but maybe I’m not the only one…? Brunch a couple of weeks ago was, sadly, a disappointing experience all around. No crispy on a soggy/wet hash, cold toast and biscuits, hard yolks on eggs ordered “runny”….

  • That is so, so sad Anne & Misty… My dinner had its highs and mediums, but nothing was completely disappointing. In a town full of good eats, it’s tough to return to a place that’s broken your heart, so I totally get it.

  • Glad you enjoyed my favorite neighborhood spot! I dream of that bread and Roxana’s desserts…

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