(PSA: From one of my neighbors on Nextdoor – Something people don’t often think about is when they’re taking their furry family member for a walk on a day where it’s 80-plus degrees outside or higher, the pavement can burn the paws of an animal very quickly, so if you can’t handle putting your hand flat on the pavement or your bare feet, neither can they.
Additionally, dead brown grass produces more heat than green grass, so keep that in mind if you think your dog standing on dead brown grass will prevent any type of heat exposure to their paws.)
Azzfest continues …
Next up in our Franklin Village crawl, aka Azzfest, is Franklin & Company Tavern.
Franklin & Co. is right across the street from the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International building.
I won’t waste your time on my opinion about Scientology, but I will say there’s a beautifully manicured property to gaze upon right across the street from this restaurant-laden stretch of Franklin. The building and its lush greenery offer a nicer view than if there was, say, a liquor store or gas station across the street, so I’ll take it! (On a side note: I like to look up at the windows on the upper floor to see if I can spot a pair of beady eyes looking down at the Village, but no luck so far!)
Don’t forget brunch
I think the first time we came here, probably about a year ago, was during Happy Hour, and we’ve also been here for brunch a couple of times. They serve up a really goodbrunch, complete with $4 mimosas. Keep them on your list when you are in need of a tasty weekend treat.
Happy Hour is at 3
Today, we arrived around 3pm. Oh, look! Happy Hour!
They have several food items on the HH menu, as well as a couple of their signature cocktails, plus well drinks, select beers and glasses of wine.
They have a few more tables than Sushi Stop, and there’s always plenty of shade to go around (not the kind you throw!).
Once we were settled and Azzy took his customary spot on the floor, I looked at the HH menu and decided to order an Eastside.
This was a refreshing combination of gin, cucumber, mint and lime. It was one of the HH “rotating” cocktails, along with an Old Fashioned and the Jalapeño Margarita.
I don’t even like gin, but I’ll take one for the team when it’s mixed with ingredients I like (one can never go wrong with mint and cucumber).
I tasted the sour notes from the lime more than anything else, but on a warm day like this, I’ll take sour over sweet every time. Also, it encourages me to drink more water, which is never a bad thing.
Mike ordered the Eagle Rock – Populist IPA, also on Happy Hour. It’s an American IPA.
Sasha had a Sprite.
Best kids’ burger
To eat, Sash had the kids’ cheeseburger, which comes with greens or fries.
“This is gonna be good!” he said excitedly.
How did he know? He is usually pretty blasé about this kind of stuff, but, for some reason, he sounded really pumped. And it was good, probably the best kids’ burger he’s ever had — it came with two kids’ burgers (sliders). The fries were really good, too, and they were served with what looked and tasted like homemade ketchup. And the cheese was really melty and gooey, which is sure to please even the most discerning of kids’ palates.
Tuna: The Forbidden Fruit
I ordered the ahi tartare tacos.
Tuna is like the Forbidden Fruit to me. I love the flavor, but I’m mindful of the Mercury content, so I order it sparingly. So good, though. Sacrelicious!
Seriously, these tacos were mouthwatering! I’ve had a lot of tuna tartare, ceviche, sashimi, you name it, and this was one of the most enjoyable ahi experiences I’ve had. The tuna was nestled into a flaky, buttery, wonton-type shell, and there was just the slightest whisper of heat mingling with the fish. I have trouble with fish when it’s dry, but this was perfect — not to soggy, not too parched.
I definitely wouldn’t call it a big portion, but I figure 3pm is neither lunch nor dinner, so it was great if you’re just looking for a snack to have with your beverage.
Mike’s pulled-pork sliders also received a thumbs-up. They served the sliders on Hawaiian rolls (Mike’s favorite), and he said they were seasoned perfectly with just the right amount of heat.
Mike actually dislikes anything spicy (I don’t know how we carry on!), but these sliders seemed to work for him. He is also not the wordiest describer of food, so a grunt, a shake of the head and a thumb in the air was the most I could coax out of him.
The server was super attentive and came out to check on us regularly to make sure everything tasted good and we weren’t in need of anything else.
Sasha’s verdict: “This is delicious!”
He liked his meal so much, he started picking up “salt from the fries” when there was nothing left on his plate.
A Santa Cruz vibe
About the neighborhood: I’ve made my sentiments known before, but I felt the same today. A lot of people seemed to know each other, and everyone was really friendly.
There was a guy walking by with a boom box who we recognized from last week. Today he was dressed in white and playing Elvis. Last week, when we were at Sushi Stop, it was “Soul Man” on the boom box. Mike and I both commented on how much this tiny swath of L.A. has a Santa Cruzy vibe to it. One of the things we miss the most about Santa Cruz is the colorful characters and wingnuts who seem to swarm to that town, and this guy put a smile on both of our faces.
I wish I could say more about Azzy besides the requisite smooches he got from some of his new admirers, but there weren’t too many other dogs out today. It was also a bit warm, so he just hung low in his usual place under the table and waited for food to fall. Such a simple creature … .
There were a couple of people sitting next to us who we couldn’t help but overhear, and their conversation piqued Mike’s interest.
Mike thought one of the guys’ take on history was fascinating. He was talking about Nixon and various political protests that took place “back in the day.” Mike went over to talk to him, and it turns out he was a wobbly, which Mike was (is?).
Much revelry ensued, and the encounter made the afternoon that much better.
It was a two-drink outing
Some rules are meant to be broken. Since we were on foot and my drink was *so* tasty, I really had to order one more. I had to compensate for not getting a drink last week at Sushi Stop, after all.
Also, the drink was served in a coupe glass. My strongly held belief is that coupe glasses belong on the children’s menu, and that, in and of itself, earned me another crack at it. My second Eastside was just as good as the first —I love a good, consistent drink! I will have to try their Jalapeño Margarita the next time around.
The conversation flowed, the child was satisfied, my drinks were great, the dog was well-loved-on, what more is there to life? You guessed it … ICE CREAM!
So Sasha and I made our way to the ice cream shop a few doors down, with Mike and Azzy taking their places out front.
This time, I had the bright idea to grab a couple of pints and eat the stuff at home. We got two pints: Mint Chip and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. This no-nonsense decision of mine even let us cut to the front of the line because I was already holding the pints in my hand and just needed to be rung up. Woo-Hoo!
One thing I keep forgetting to mention is they don’t take cash at Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, so make sure you have your plastic. Also, don’t forget to pull your own card out after the transaction — I’ve actually left my card here a couple of times! I’ve always been able to go back and pick it up, but oy! Just don’t do it — not worth all the stress!
I prefer to take a leisurely stroll home, but I didn’t want the ice cream to melt. We got down to business and booked — and made it home before the ice cream melted. I feel like I had a full day, and the sun wasn’t even setting yet.
We have a couple more places to visit before our conclusion of Azzfest, and I can’t wait! See you again soon!