When one door closes, another (bigger and slightly more epic lookin’) one opens – at least that’s how the story goes for one of LA’s “O.G.’s” within the gastropub scene, Ford’s Filling Station. For years Ford’s Filling Station called a cozy little neighborhood joint right in the heart of downtown Culver City home, but when it was time for a change after 10 years of business, it was go big or go home for the F.F.S team. Just as of this past Fall of 2014 chef Ben Ford and his crew took on a huge undertaking by relocating, reimagining, and redesigning the brand and opening back up for business inside the huge slice of real estate that is the JW Marriott Hotel at LA Live Downtown. A few of the menu classics like the white cheddar bacon biscuits and the burger have remained true to their original form but updates and additions have been made, and they’ve certainly been made for the better. One undeniably genius addition was a new cocktail program crafted by mixologist Dushan Zarin of New York’s golden child of the libation world, Employee’s Only. I had every intention of sticking with my usual glass of wine during my visit to the new digs, that was until I saw the cocktail list – just when I thought I’d seen it all Dushan and Ford’s Filling Station had a little somethin’ to surprise me with. Like a bourbon cocktail mixed with red wine kind of surprise.
If you’re headed to LA Live or just looking for an epic DTLA setting with a “grand hotel” vibe, screw the boring usual (chain) suspects, Ford’s knows a thing or two about gastropubbing, grubbing, and cocktailing in Los Angeles – get your monies worth and be really happy about it? Those of us familiar will miss the first Culver City location, but the new Downtown location (and the LAX location) give the impression that Ford’s is in tune with the fact that change can be a beneficial and positive thing. To their credit, simply by incorporating those “west coast flavors with southeast influence” Chef Ben Ford founded the brand with Ford’s Filling Station 2.0 hasn’t lost one ounce of soul, they’re just kicking it up a notch.
Favorite Cocktail: New York Sour (Bakers bourbon, lemon, simple syrup, Malbec wine)
Must order: deviled eggs + white cheddar bacon biscuits + burger
Perfect Spot For: cocktails + dinner (but also open for breakfast, lunch, AND weekend brunch)
Pro Tip: (most of) their ice creams are made in house, sooo order some because they’re DELICIOUS and homemade ice cream isn’t easy to come by at restaurants!
Fun Fact: Ben Ford is Harrison Ford’s son.