USC: Free Play Now Open at The Fields LA / Banc of California’s LAFC Stadium
Free Play is now open in Exposition Park. It’s in the same building as the new food hall, The Fields LA right by the new Banc of California soccer stadium for the LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club).
The kitchen helmed by Chef Timothy Hollingsworth from Otium and CJ Boyd’s Fried Chicken (downstairs at The Fields) brings modern comfort food like fried pickles and Frito Pie. I loved the lounge area and there are plenty of pin ball machines and other games. It’s like an upscale Dave and Busters but with way better food and booze.
I enjoyed my El Trafico Old Fashioned while my friend had the Clean Sheet.
El Trafico Old Fashioned – bourbon, mezcal, roasted pineapple, barrel-aged bitters
Clean Sheet – vodka, green tea, lemon, seltzer
A few years ago, I became obsessed with Frito pie and learned the proper way to serve it. However, we weren’t actually in the stands and opening from the side as shown above makes a better presentation. The chili is surprisingly light. So does that mean I can have two Frito pies? Well, see below– we’re going to fried pickles!
I love kinda-bad-for-you food but these fried pickles were perfectly fried. They weren’t greasy at all. Yum!
We tried all four shooters on offer. My favorite was the Young Grasshopper as it’s minty! But I also liked the Julius Peppers. Spicy! My friend liked the Miami Vice with the coconut rum and strawberry.
Julius Peppers – chile vodka, poblano pepper, pineapple, lime
Miami Vice – coconut rum, strawberry, lime
Hot Damn – cinnamon bourbon, honey, lemon
Young Grasshopper – creme de menthe, banana, cacao, cream
My favorite dish of the night was the juicy harissa chicken. It’s big enough for two.
Next time I’d like to try BBQ chicken for comparison. But also the prawns, pork chop, steak and pork shank all look good. Basically I want to eat the menu!
We were originally going for a different vegetable but they just ran out. My friend wasn’t quite into the coconut in this dish but I found it subtle. I do like it when cauliflower is cooked well. Still, I would probably get potatoes next time to go with that wonderful chicken.
Under the shandy section, I chose the Stiegl Rock as I love a good Stiegler radler (aka grapefruit beer). It’s already good on its own but add in bourbon and you got yourself a shandy x 1000.
Stiegl Rock – bourbon, honey, citrus, grapefruit beer
We almost left without dessert but I’m glad we tried the chocolate cake and ice cream sundae. Oh man, if I was 5 again, this is all I would want for dinner!
Okay, I could probably just have two desserts for dinner now.
So many happy moments!
Free Play3939 S Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90037 — (213) 419-9481
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