Hutchinson Cocktails & Grill – a new Steakhouse style restaurant on La Cienega in Los Angeles with Indonesian influences. Richard Hutchinson, who the restaurant is named after, spent over 20 years in Sumatra as a geologist. Indonesian cooking became a family staple and passed down through the generations.
The restaurant itself has large booths and a wooden bar where creative cocktails are poured. The mural on the wall was a hand painted version of Richard Hutchinson’s thesis while studying at Cal Tech.
The Saratoga – their version of the Manhattan, made with a touch of Calvados for a fresh taste and the Shrimp Chips were a fun snack while scouring the menu.
To start, the Crispy Prawn Lettuce Cups had a nice sweet and spicy glaze. The build-your-own creation had accoutrements of daikon, shredded carrots, a peanut/coconut/sambal mixture and Sauce. The sauces in Hutchinson clearly are original — nuts, Sambal, Gula Jawa (similar to palm sugar), coconut milk and other spices create the most amazing concoctions.
One of the dishes that makes Hutchinson unique – the Beef Rendang. Before refrigeration, Rendang was an Indonesian way of cooking beef, goat or other meat in order to preserve it in tropical weather. Rendang is usually cooked with coconut milk, galangal, ginger, turmeric and several other spices, which are considered antimicrobial.
Beef Rendang at Hutchinson Cocktails & Grill comes in a few varieties. For a starter, the Beef Sliders – carefully pulled meat heaped high on a soft bun with crunchy vegetables and some more delicious sauce. You shouldn’t miss it!
Beef Shortrib Rendang along with Green Curry Fried Chicken and Mom’s Bami Noodles are other traditional Indonesian dishes at Hutchinson. For the adventurous home cooks, here is the recipe for Beef Shortrib Rendang:
Short Rib, chunk plate – 2 Each
1 Onion, sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
Tumeric Root, 50 grams
1 Lemongrass stalk, sliced
Galangal, sliced – 100 grams
Kecap Manis, Indonesian Ketchup (Amazon.com) – 40 grams
Sambal Oelek, 25 grams
Coconut Milk 750 ml – divided
For the Sauce
Sambal Oelek – 30 grams
Kecap Manis – 50 grams
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sear the short ribs on all sides in a pan with oil.
2. In the same pan, sweat the onions, lemongrass, garlic, turmeric and galangal.
3. Deglaze the pan with Kecap Manis and Sambal Oelek.
4. Add back the seared short ribs and add 500 grams of the coconut milk.
5. Cover with a lid and braise in the oven for 3 hours
6. Remove the pan from the oven and take out half the braising liquid. Remove the galangal and turmeric.
7. Place the liquid in another pan and reduce by half. Next, add sambal oelek and kecap manis to the sauce. Stir in the additional coconut milk. Coat the meat in the sauce and serve over rice.
The Grill is another highlight at Hutchinson Cocktails & Grill. The list of meat starts with grassfed skirt steak, filet, NY Strip to Ribeye, but if you are dining with a larger group, the show stopper is the Tomahawk. All the meat and fish are cooked over white oak and mesquite woods.
Our filet, cooked perfectly with a crunchy exterior and a pink center, had nice flavor. The Asparagus with Curry Hollandaise and Crispy Shallots was a nice twist on tradition.
For dessert, Key Lime Cheesecake and Manjari Chocolate Mousse Cake all sounded great, but the Butterscotch Pot de Creme is not like other Butterscotch Pot de Cremes. The layer of tapioca pearls cooked in Gula Jawa adds a smokey texture to the pudding -indescribably delicious.
Hutchinson Cocktails and Grill is a great place to grab a cocktail, steak and some Indonesian cuisine that you can’t find anywhere else in Los Angeles. The staff and management are very friendly and the restaurant has some great old photos of Richard Hutchinson and family.
On the second Monday of every month Hutchinson conducts a special Indonesian dinner called, Rijsttafel. It is a four-course meal for $65 per person with Indonesian specialties like Prawn & Beef Rendang wrapped in banana leaf, Savory Omelette and Goat Rendang – a real treat in this town.