Skip to main content

Eating Cauliflower Popcorn and Maple Donuts at Mud Hen

eat at mud hen tavern mudhen website 3 web
You should go to Mud Hen Tavern. Opened by renowned chef Susan Feniger and named for the minor league Toledo Mud Hens, it’s the kind of after-work place that makes a good day better and a bad day worth it. It’s a social restaurant/bar, cozy and inviting, making it feel a bit like going to someone’s house for a dinner party. In this case, though, you only have to talk to the people you came with.

Let’s start with the food: you would be crazy not to order the Cauliflower Popcorn, which is, admittedly, a bizarre statement. But this isn’t boring old cauliflower! It’s salty and poppy and delicious and somewhat healthy. It’s the best thing to happen to cauliflower since… ever. If fish is your thing, you must order the Albacore Tuna Crudo: it’s simultaneously creamy and crunchy and is incredibly fresh and satisfying. On the brunch side, start your morning off right with the Old Fashioned Maple Donut (with espresso glaze and spiked whipped cream) and then follow it up with the Chicken and Waffle Croquettes. If you’re in a hurry and can’t have the full Mud Hen experience, at least fuel up at Blue Window, rotating go-to food items.

Related Videos

Their drinks list is stellar, with rotating taps for seasonal brews and a fairly expansive list of craft options, like Bell’s out of Michigan, which can be tough to find. Give their Mud Hen Sour a try if you like bourbon and aren’t afraid of a little egg white. The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable and can help you order the perfect libation.

Now atmosphere: at first glance, it seems like it’s going to be a hole-in-the-wall, but it opens up into a fantastic patio that makes the best of Southern California weather. There are blankets and gas heaters if it gets chilly, so there’s rarely a moment in the year when you can’t make use of this place. And the hits keep coming: Every Tuesday at 8 pm Mud Hen offers “Geeks Who Drink” trivia. Wednesdays are for “Whiskey Wednesdays” where the featured whiskey cocktail is $5 and the whiskey flights are $15.

They offer a rewards card where for every dollar you spend, you get a point that adds up to gift certificates: to valet parking vouchers, to an incredible chef’s table meal with gift bags, and even wine pairings. All are amazing perks, but they had Angelenos at valet parking voucher…

Mud Hen Tavern a sophisticated neighborhood joint where it’s easy to eat well, drink well, and maybe make a few new friends. Or just stick with the ones you’ve got and bring them along.

Editors' Recommendations

A chef’s guide to making the perfect Korean fried chicken
Chef Sol Han of NYC's innovative Little Mad shares his best fried chicken tips and tricks

Delivered fresh in takeout boxes or served alongside frosty beer at bustling restaurants, fried chicken is a national obsession in Korea. Historically, chicken consumption was rare in South Korea, and it wasn't until the 1980s that Korean fried chicken became popular. While Korean fried chicken has similarities to Southern fried chicken, the Korean version is way more diverse in both flavor and variety.

Interested in cooking Korean fried chicken in the comfort of your own home? Here to lend The Manual some expert tips and techniques is Chef Sol Han of Little Mad, an innovative and modern Korean restaurant in New York City. While making fried chicken at home might seem intimidating, the finished product is well worth the adventure. You can reward yourself with the cold beer to pair it with.
Tips to make your Korean fried chicken even better
Chef Sol Han of Little Mad in New York City. Moonhee-Kim
Seasoning the chicken
Chef Han likes to brine his chicken overnight in a 3 percent salt-to-water ratio. One unique twist he likes is to marinate his chicken in dashi stock or white soy, a type of soy sauce with a lighter and sweeter flavor than dark soy sauce. However, if brined, the chicken must dry out on a rack before being dredged in flour.
Frying the chicken
In Korean fried chicken, flour is often replaced with potato starch or corn starch. The use of starches, especially potato, gives the finished crust a less greasy, and pleasing white color. A pinch of baking powder added to the starch will also help increase crispiness. But do not substitute baking soda. The chicken will have an unpleasant alkaline aftertaste. Chef Han likes to dredge his chicken in seasoned flour consisting of salt, black pepper, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.

Read more
These are the very best ski towns for foodies in America
Chasing fresh powder and a good meal? Here are the best ski towns for foodies in the US.
Matsuhisa Aspen restaurant.

As one year turns into the next, the snow tends to pile up in the higher elevations. Yes, we've entered peak ski season, which means it's time to dust off goggles, ready snowsuits, and hit the slopes. Chances are good that you'll work up quite the appetite while playing around in the powder, so you might as well eat well.

This ski season, do it right. Embrace apres ski culture, try out some new resorts and ski towns, and treat yourself to some of the amazing restaurants and eateries along the way. You'll refuel with the best dishes available, whether it's a seasonal cocktail, hearty dish, or some combination thereof.

Read more
Notes on soaking up the spirits of Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire
Our guide to finding the most beautiful views and tastiest drinks in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao
A cluster of private cabanas overlook Iguana Beach at Renaissance Island in Aruba.

When you think of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao — also known as the ABC Islands — what comes to mind? Perhaps you’re dreaming of palm-lined beaches and calm turquoise waters? Maybe you envision European-style towns and villages with lush tropical greenery? While you can find plenty of that throughout the ABC Islands, there’s plenty more beyond the typical “tourist traps.” And if you’ve always had an affinity for Caribbean cocktails, you’ll discover infinite possibilities with all sorts of tasty locally produced liquors. Whether you prefer a sweet, fruity drink to enjoy by the beach or a complex cocktail that easily rivals those of the buzziest big-city bars, here’s all you need to know about where to find the best spirit(s) of these enchanted islands.
First, let’s get reacquainted with the ABC Islands

If Americans know anything about Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, it's that that these islands are somewhere in the Caribbean and are part of the Netherlands. Indeed, the ABC Islands are surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, and they lie directly to the north of Venezuela. If you’re expecting largely the same experience as a trip to South Florida, the Bahamas, or the Virgin Islands at the ABC Islands, though, get ready for a very different kind of Caribbean trip down here.

Read more