Over the past few months, Chef-Owner Wes Avila has been finding more of an identity for Angry Egret Dinette, and developed a stable menu of regular items. But it’s his Weekly Specials that are the most exciting aspect of the restaurant right now.
After California started to slowly open up for outdoor dining, Chef Wes has taken the time to develop his outdoor patio area to be Angry Egret’s main “dining room”. He’s grown various flowers and plants and takes the time to manage a set of outdoor tables for customers:
Agua Fresca: La Luz (Jamaica and Honey):
He’s changed up the La Laz since the debut version: Nowadays the carbonation is gone, replaced by a sweeter, more vibrant Jamaica and Honey concoction.
The Red Hen (Housemade Biscuit, Fried Chicken, Red Eye Gravy, Honey Chile and Chives):
A tasty Brunch-style Fried Chicken Sandwich! The Housemade Biscuit is sufficiently flaky, the Red Eye Gravy is satisfying and thick and rich, but the Fried Chicken itself is just OK. It’s not bad, but doesn’t have the super satisfying crispy-crunch of Howlin’ Ray’s pre-pandemic.
(Special) Razor Clams (Grilled Razor Clams with Garlic and Chiltepin Chile, Preserved Lemon and Parsley):
Outstanding! This hearkened back to Chef Avila doing his Omakase Dinner at Guerrilla Tacos! Perfectly cooked, tender, slippery, delicate Grilled Razor Clams, redolent of a summery sea, perfectly balanced with Garlic and Chiltepin Chile, and the hit of Preserved Lemon reinforced by lemony Parsley is spot on.
Iced Latte (Almond Milk):
Chef Avila had posted about debuting his new Espresso machine a few months ago, and we were curious how good it could be. Of course it got too hot, so we went with an Iced Latte instead. Good aromatic flavor, refreshing.
Farmers Market Salad (Market Greens, Fuji Apple, Candied Pecans, Gooseberries, Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Roasted Pear Vinaigrette):
Just a solid starter Salad. Everything tasted very fresh and bright, from the Farmers Market (I should know since we buy from the local farmers markets every week). The Roasted Pear Vinaigrette could’ve used a little more Pear flavor, but otherwise, a nice way to start a meal here.
The Olympic Blvd (Rib Eye Steak, Horseradish Cream, Avocado, Panela Cheese, Red Pepper Escabeche):
It seems Chef Wes has finally changed his OG Torta Sandwich from the menu and modified the “Whittier Blvd” into the “Olympic Blvd”. The main difference being the change to Rib Eye Steak instead of a Stewed Beef Brisket. Rib Eye is certainly a better cut of meat, but flavor-wise, the OG Whittier Blvd Sandwich was better:
The Rib Eye is meaty, a touch chewy and more substantial. It feels like you’re working more per bite. The Whittier Blvd version had tender, juicy Stewed Beef Brisket and it was juicier (more like a “Stew” or Guisados). This is still tasty, but we hope to see the Whittier Blvd back.
The Atwater Breakfast Burrito (Shiitake Mushrooms, Red Pepper, Potatoes, Braised Leeks, Scrambled Eggs, Swiss Cheese, Salsa China):
Now a permanent addition to the menu, the Atwater Breakfast Burrito is probably Chef Wes’ best Breakfast Burrito (until we eat the other ones again). Ever since his OG Guerrilla Tacos days, Chef Wes has a way with cooking Vegetables and coaxing the best flavors out of them. The Atwater is just a delicious creation of super flavorful Braised Leeks, cooked to the point of meltingly tender, with Shiitake Mushrooms and Red Peppers. The perfectly cooked, almost creamy Scrambled Eggs are the highlight (you won’t find any chalky, rubbery, overcooked Eggs here), and his Housemade Salsa China is just a great spike with every bite.
Cubano (Prosciutto di Parma, Roasted Pork Shoulder, Maasdam Cheese, Mustard, Mayo, Pickles):
This doesn’t surpass the fantastic version (dine-in only) at Republique, but it’s a tasty L.A. interpretation, with a light crunch from the outer crust, tender Stewed Pork Shoulder, nicely balanced by the Mustard, Pickles, and complemented by the stronger porky accent of Prosciutto, and the salinity in the Maasdam Cheese.
(Special) Wild Caught Grouper Tacos (Habanero Aioli, Charred Tomato Salsa, Cabbage, Lime, Cilantro):
One nice addition is the recurring special of a Wild Caught Fish Taco (there’s been one on the Specials menu every week for months now). On this visit, it was Wild Caught Grouper. It’s expertly fried, not overly greasy, nice lightly crisped exterior, a generous dollop of the Charred Tomato Salsa, Cabbage, Lime, Cilantro. Tasty!
Chicken Tortilla Soup (Avocado, Shishito Pepper, Tomato, Lemon):
While it sounds like a generic, commonly found Soup, Angry Egret’s Chicken Tortilla Soup is nothing like those versions. It starts with a good Chicken Soup base, tasting long cooked for hours. The Shishito Peppers (nearly melted into the Soup having been cooked for so long) add a pleasant Spring vegetal note, the Tomato base helps add umami and the Tortilla Strips and Avocado just round things out.
(Special) Farmers Market Tangerine Citrus Agua Fresca:
In-season citrus, super sweet (naturally), bright, awesome!
(Special) Coconut Campechana (Kanpachi (Great Amberjack), Shrimp, Oysters, Stone Crab, Avocado and two types of Housemade Salsa, Chips):
This might be a very good look into what Chef Wes can do and shine at: The Coconut Campechana is a fabulous Daily Special that’s worth getting the next time you see it on the menu. A ridiculous mix of super fresh Seafood that made for one of the best Campechanas we’ve had in recent memory.
The Poached Shrimp were plump and tasty. We would’ve liked to see the kitchen clean the Shrimp first, but thankfully they didn’t have a dark digestive tract showing like some unbutterflied Shrimp have.
The Kanpachi was delicious! Bright, tender, some fattiness and lean. A great highlight in this Campechana.
The Stone Crab Claw was enjoyable, but I’m partial to the inherent sweetness of our own local Pacific Ocean Dungeness Crab. But obviously this is way less work (a giant Crab Claw with a big chunk of meat, no shell).
Underneath that mound of fresh Seafood were some plump Oysters(!), and a mixture of chilled, refreshing citrus-y diced Whitefish (didn’t seem to be Kanpachi, but still excellent) and diced raw veggies.
The Housemade Chips were awesome! Thick, crunchy, piping hot(!) (freshly fried to order), and the 2 Housemade Salsas shine here with the Campechana mixture.
Blue Crab Enchiladas (3 per Order - Crab Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, Queso Fresco, Fresno Chile, Cilantro, Avocado):
Definitely not the “Enchiladas” you might be expecting, these are crispy, crunchy Tortilla shells enveloping Blue Crab meat within. I loved the pairing with Tomatillo Salsa, Fresno Chiles, and the creaminess from the Avocado to temper things. Delicious!
(Special) Spanish Tortilla (Grilled Razor Clams Conserva on top of Spanish Tortilla):
Caveat: I have not been to Spain yet, to enjoy the delicious Tapas that I’ve seen from various travel and food shows. When we saw a new Special for a Spanish Tortilla, it sounded like a homage to a great Tapas you might find in Spain.
What was off-putting about this version was that it was served ice cold(!). Is that the way it’s supposed to be served? Perhaps it is. But since we were expecting a warm dish, the ice cold nature really dampened our enjoyment of this. The flavors weren’t bad, but I kept thinking if this was supposed to be heated? (Or maybe not, since all the filling would melt / ooze out?)
On this visit, Chef Wes had just finished commissioning a beautiful mural to adorn the Angry Egret storefront:
Farmers Market Salad (Aged Gouda, Dates with White Balsamic & Roasted Pear Vinaigrette):
Another very good Farmers Market Salad. A great way to get your servings of greens in for the day.
Lamb Quesabirria (Slow Roasted Lamb in Banana Leaf, Sandwiched between two Flour Tortillas, Oaxaca Cheese, Salsa Macha, Fried Hen Egg, Cilantro, Radish):
Chef Wes’ take on the Taco trend hitting L.A. (for awhile now), with the Quesataco, where you have a Taco griddled with Cheese and some fillings within. This is way more lavish and not as well integrated: More of a deconstructed, but high quality “Griddled Tortillas and Lamb” dish.
The Slow Roasted Lamb was tender and lightly gamy, flavorful and delicious. The rest of the dish was just kinda there to accentuate the Lamb in some way.
(Special) Wild Caught Vermillion Fish Tacos (Habanero Aioli, Charred Tomato Salsa, Cabbage, Lime, Cilantro):
The Wild Caught Fish today was Vermillion. We liked the Vermillion meat more than the Grouper from the previous visit. Still excellent, nice balance of Salsa and flavors.
(Special) Crispy Tripas Tacos (3 Tacos with Tripe cooked in Duck Fat, Onion, Cilantro, Avocado Salsa, Molcajete Salsa, Lime):
I was really looking forward to this new Taco Special. Unfortunately there was zero crispiness at all, but the Tripas had deep flavor from the Duck Fat, and were sufficiently tender. We enjoyed the combination with both types of Housemade Salsas.
Hey Porky’s Breakfast Burrito (Pork Shoulder, Bacon, Mom’s Papas, Scrambled Eggs, Black Beans, Queso Oaxaca, Salsa Verde):
OK, this might be the best Breakfast Burrito on Angry Egret’s menu. I find myself wavering between both this and the Atwater. It’s clear Chef Wes has found 2 mainstays, as both Breakfast Burritos are some of the best in the city, easily.
It starts with the perfectly cooked, silky, creamy, just cooked through Scrambled Eggs, it makes a huge difference in the mouthfeel and enjoyment. The Roasted Pork Shoulder is tender, juicy, and bits of Bacon, Potatoes, accented by nicely cooked Black Beans, Queso Oaxaca, and his Housemade Salsa Verde? It’s pretty rich and delicious.
(Special) Prime Rib Flauta (Oaxaca Cheese, Guajillo Salsa, Cilantro and Onions, Flour Tortilla, Salsa Matcha, Avocado Salsa, Fried Egg):
First, yes, it is as decadent as it sounds. Chef Wes’ Flautas were already quite tasty, but this Daily Special uses Prime Rib(!). And it’s absurd. Fatty, tender, luscious morsels of Prime Rib within the Flauta. There’s a real beefiness (delicate), along with the decadence and then all the traditional ingredients, the great Salsa Matcha and Avocado Salsa combination. And a Fried Egg on top, because, why not? It is glorious and worth trying the next time you see it on the menu.
(Special) Pork Spare Rib Tacos (14 Hours Pork Ribs with Adobada Salsa, Handmade Corn Tortillas, Oregano, Onions):
But the star of the last few months might very well be Chef Wes’ new Pork Spare Rib Tacos. We always knew Chef Wes Avila was a Taco Whisperer (from his OG Guerrilla Tacos days), but he’s outdone himself yet again (and it’s been a rarity to see any Tacos on the menu since the Grand Opening days):
The 14 Hour Slow Roasted Pork Spare Ribs are deboned and marinated in a fantastic Adobada Salsa, reminiscent of a great Al Pastor / Adobada Taco. Except the 14 Hour Ribs… ridiculously tender, succulent, dripping with porcine juice and goodness. There’s bits of tender cartilage like the best versions of Michoacan-style Costillas Carnitas Tacos.
And Chef Wes is finally making Handmade In-House Corn Tortillas! Add them all together and you have some of the best Pork Tacos in the city! (@ipsedixit @paranoidgarliclover @ColinMorey @A5KOBE @attran99 @ElsieDee and all!)
While there’ve been some wacky Weekly Specials (Duck Ramen?!) and some items that shouldn’t have been attempted (Pastrami (not bad, but Langer’s legendary Pastrami is just a few minutes away), Angry Egret Dinette’s rotating Weekly Specials are starting to become the dynamic excitement that we loved back in Guerrilla Tacos’ roaming food truck days. It’s always interesting to see what new dish Chef Wes Avila is going to come up with next (for the coming week), and there’ve been some real stunners.
Keep on the lookout for the return of the Coconut Campechana, overloaded with fresh Seafood, the Razor Clams special is amazing, same for the Blue Crab Enchiladas, the Prime Rib Flautas and many others.
But if you see the Pork Spare Rib Tacos special re-appear, order immediately for a taste of glorious, slow-roasted porcine goodness. One of the best bites of the year so far.
Angry Egret Dinette
(in Mandarin Plaza)
970 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: (213) 278-0987
Instagram for New Menu Updates: