Talk about a swift and silent landing! “TomGeorge” held no meaning to Angelenos one day, and then the next: voila – a sign, a full staff, and lunch/brunch/dinner service. No press releases, no big to-do, just whispers and word of mouth.
After deciding that I couldn’t take the mystery and suspense any longer, I paid TomGeorge a visit where I discovered that the owners, get this, TOM AND GEORGE, have extremely successful restaurants in Budapest Hungary, one of which is also called TomGeorge. If my memory serves me, George has a daughter attending school in Los Angeles and decided LA would be the perfect place to open up TomGeorge’s counterpart Downtown – and as far as I’m concerned, he was absolutely correct.
I knew nothing about TomGeorge going into my lunch reservation, not even so much as an idea of what it looked like on the inside or what the menu might entail. To my surprise and delight the restaurant is located directly across from Bottega Louie, and the space, the ambiance, and the decor happened to be absolutely stunning. The cuisine concept leans more towards Italian/Californian with Hungarian flair (if it wasn’t a thing it sure is now!).
At first glance I was totally confused *yet intrigued* by the fact that there was goulash on the menu, but after chatting with their amazing GM Anthony, I got the rundown on the whole TomGeorge LA operation and learned all about their Hungarian heritage. Which of course only made me fall even more madly in love with the place.
Can I also just mention that at least one of the owners is ALWAYS at the restaurant… entertaining, enjoying the space, saying hello to people?! I haven’t had first hand Hungarian hospitality, but if there’s one thing I decided that day its that I am going to Budapest this year if it kills me. And I’m going to all of their restaurants.
With no idea of what to expect on the menu I have to say I was totally and completely impressed by everything I had. The location is great for DTLA casual lunch-goers, it’s great for work dinners, but it’s also great for all of us folk who appreciate good food and don’t feel like going to Bottega Louie to wait in like for the 15th time. (Absolutely nothing against Bottega Louie, but TomGeorge is just an on-par if not better option now as far as I’m concerned.) I cannot wait to go back in for the Budapest pizza and the Nutella dessert pizza again; I DREAM about those two things, but I’m also really looking forward to going back for dinner and drinks – I can only imagine how stunning it is at night!
Must Order | Must order the Budapest Pizza!!!! It will change your life! You also have to have to have to deal with it and order the nutella pizza for dessert. I kid you not, these two dishes are probably two of the most memorable dishes I’ve had in a while. Outside of that though the BLT and the crispy duck salads were both outstanding, but so were the spinach fusili pasta, the beef tartare, and the ahi tuna loin.
Perfect Spot For | lunch // Bottega Louie alternative // dinner // happy hour // brunch // date night // place to meet with a group of friends // client dinner // cocktails // Italian food // Hungarian flare
TOMGEORGE // 707 S Grand Ave Los Angeles, CA 90017