Bow & Truss is a recently-opened Spanish eatery in North Hollywood. Named after the restaurant’s bow-and-truss ceiling inside, this is Knitting Factory Entertainment’s second restaurant endeavor, with its first being The Federal Bar. (Need we say more?) Formerly an auto garage from 1930, skilled and talented planners, builders and decorators put their hearts and souls into transforming the structure that once sat on the property into Bow & Truss. Featuring Latin-influenced tapas and family-style dishes, this restaurant is certain to enhance North Hollywood’s craving for more exciting and inventive dining venues.
Upon entering through the main entrance off the sidewalk, we were greeted by an unexpected open courtyard. To our left was an area reserved for outside dining with red umbrellas shading bistro-style tables and chairs. To our right, a comfortable-looking lounge area complete with a modern cocktail bar. Both sections of the 2,000 square-foot courtyard are sandy-based and reminded us of being at a beach bar with the sand beneath our feet. We’ll have to return one evening to experience this part of Bow & Truss, as we feel it would be beautiful there on a sofa sipping cocktails under twinkling stars in the night sky overhead.
As we made our way to the hostess station, we were warmly greeted and allowed to take a look around the establishment before being seated. The 3,000 square-foot interior was quite impressive. There are large booths available for bigger parties, counter seating in front of the stainless-steel-designed kitchen, tandem seating as well as several stand-alone tables. We were seated at one of the more intimate tables for two…right beneath an enormous painting of a bull hanging on a brick wall. My husband enjoyed his view of the crowd entering through the front door, while I had a fantastic prospective of the goings-on in the open kitchen.
With the majority of our attention being split between the intricately-fashioned indoor bar and the busy bustling in the stunning preview kitchen, we had to admire the reason for the restaurant’s name. The bow-and-truss ceilings. Have you ever walked into a place and looked around at your surroundings and began to think about all of the dedication, hard work and dreams that went into it’s creation? That’s what we found ourselves doing as we sat there. It was, in fact, very inspiring to think about.
The photos above show the bow-and-truss ceiling and the open viewing kitchen where all of the culinary action happens.
Booths are enhanced by colored pillows, while the tables themselves are decorated simply with orange candle holders, brightly-hued bread plates and striped white cloth napkins. Before we knew it, our waitress, Chelsea, arrived at our table side with menus and a tall glass vessel of iced water. We were both in the mood for iced tea that evening, so we ordered several Arnold Palmers throughout our visit (see above). Additionally, we were offered bowls of Marcona almonds tossed in salt and olive oil. These Spanish almonds are a bit sweeter and have a lighter taste with more of a round plump shape than the California version most of us are familiar with. In addition to the almonds, a container of green Spanish olives is provided. Neither my husband or myself are huge fans of olives in general. However, after each trying one, and were immediately converted into olive lovers! In fact, we finished the entire container of olives! Bow & Truss soaks these jade orbs in a secret house marinade, then serves them to anxiously-awaiting patrons. We won’t eat olives anywhere else but Bow & Truss now! They’re THAT good!
Jamon & Oyster Salad
Above, we started with the Jamon & Oyster Salad ($13). Have you ever heard of a Fanny Bay oyster? They are commonly found in the waters of Baynes Sound on the eastern side of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. That’s what arrives atop this beautiful presentation of greens. And let us tell you, if you like oysters, you’re going to LOVE the Fanny Bay variety. Having spent most of my life in the South, I’ve enjoyed my share of shellfish. But never have I had such a delectable, creamy, hearty, flavorful creation as one of these. I would bet that if you don’t eat oysters, you soon will after having them at Bow & Truss. This eye-catching salad is comprised of Fanny Bay oysters, frisee, kumquats, and an intricate micro intensity, then finished with truffle oil & yuzu foam.
Above and below, close-up photos of the Fanny Bay Oysters on the Jamon & Oyster salad. My husband and I literally just stared at these for several minutes before devouring them. Such detail and intricacy went into the presentation of these oysters.
We were sorry to hear that Chef Stefhanie Meyers left her post at The Federal Bar, but we were very excited to find out she is now at the helm at Bow & Truss! Below, Chef Meyers’ presentation of the Bow & Truss Seafood Pot. My husband and I happily shared this dish. We found it a tad bit spicy for our taste, but if you can handle some heat in your meal, we highly recommend it. With it’s charred corn, potatoes, Prince Edward Island mussels, Manila clams, Mexican Tiger shrimp and chunks of Californian local white sea bass, you’ll be returning again for another order of this bowl of seafood goodness.
Bow & Truss Seafood Pot
Below, closer views of the Mexican Tiger shrimp, chunks of white sea bass and Prince Edward Island mussels.
Next, we ordered what seemed to be a favorite item coming out of the kitchen…the Bow & Truss Tacos. Pulled Pork Belly, Shrimp, Grilled Sea Bass, Chorizo Meatball and Mixed Pepper tacos are the types of tacos Bow & Truss specializes in. We decided upon the Shrimp Tacos with lime-soaked purple cabbage ($9). Colorful, flavorsome and downright fun to eat, these were a definite re-order item…
INSIDER’S TIP: If you can’t handle too much heat in your food, just ask your server to put the guacamole that comes with the tacos on the side, as we did. There’s a touch of heat, but it’s creamy deliciousness overpowers any spice involved!
Grilled Shrimp Tacos
…and we quickly consumed the Grilled Sea Bass tacos also with a pickled carrot slaw and avocado ($9)…
Grilled Sea Bass Tacos
Fun times in a festive atmosphere with friendly smiling staff and flavorful Spanish cuisine. That’s what you’ll receive at Bow & Truss. Next on our agenda… planning our next visit to review the outdoor cocktail lounge!
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Colorful throw pillows on booths, enormous Spanish paintings hanging on interior walls, numerous seating options both indoors and outside, multiple locations for dining and sipping crafted cocktails…perfect!
- FOOD / DRINK: Festive cuisine expertly prepared by renowned Chef Stefhanie Meyers, hand-crafted refreshing cocktails and a lively fun vibe pulse throughout everything at Bow & Truss!
- LOCATION: Bow & Truss is located at 11122 Magnolia Boulevard in North Hollywood, CA 91601.
- HOURS: Bow & Truss is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 AM until closing, on Saturday and Sundays from 10 AM until closing, and brunch is available Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM until 3 PM.
- SERVICE / STAFF: From the moment you enter through the main gate into the expansive courtyard, to the second you step up to the hostess station, to the instant you’re seated and welcomed by your server, you will not be disappointed. Our server, Chelsea, was informed, friendly, knew exactly what she was doing, and made a point to go out of her way to answer questions we had. Spot on!
- PRICE / VALUE: Fairly priced for the creative culinary experience you will find at this Spanish eatery. We were satisfied with what we were presented with here.
- CORKAGE FEE: $10 per bottle
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (818) 985-8787, Website: www.bowandtruss.com.
- PARKING: Valet service is available for Bow & Truss patrons Monday through Saturday starting at 5 PM, and on Sundays beginning at 10:30 AM.
- TOTAL BILL: Our final bill came in a little over $65 (including tax), but was well worth the splurge. There’s a real quality in the cuisine as well as the feel of the place. If you’re a lover of Latin cuisine, we feel you’ll love dining at Bow & Truss!
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.