In a stand alone building on Sunset with floor to ceiling windows and glass doors that slide open to connect the indoors with the out-of-doors resides a pair of restaurants that belong in the Bowery Street Enterprise family. They share a kitchen run by Kris Morningstar while exhibiting different fare. The restaurant to the east, The Mercantile, is an open air restaurant and gourmet market with high ceilings that transplants you from the streets of Los Angeles to an old-time European café. There are a dozen or so tables inside with mix-‘n-match chairs that rest invitingly well amongst the mason jar water glasses and friendly staff.
The artisanal menu at The Mercantile is full of salty meats and full-bodied cheeses that pair nicely with the wine list.
The Cuban layers: spicy pork, hot Coppa, melted Gruyere cheese and pickled relish for a delectable sandwich. While the pale yellow Sottocenere truffle cheese and roasted onions put a delicate twist on the classic grilled cheese. Another American favorite turned on its side is the rich and creamy macaroni and cheese. The macaroni noodles swim in a thick Gruyere, Gouda and White Cheddar melody.
True to form, the desserts did not disappoint either. The homemade ice cream pushed the boundaries of flavors including an interesting take on a breakfast staple, the French toast and bacon ice cream. It was tasty but too much as a full helping. The Lemon & Rose Water ice cream was fabulous as it opened with the lemon zest and finished with the savory rose water, while the Vanilla Bourbon Malt ice cream was all around smooth and refreshing.
Days later, I find myself craving another meal from The Mercantile. Since the price is right as most dishes are around $15 a plate I will revisit the eclectic menu and wine list time and again.