*Photo Credit: Public School 805 website.
When I tell people about the Public School restaurants, they look very confused.
“Wait, it’s a school?”
No, it’s a restaurant whose theme is public school. You know, the wide ruled paper, the composition books, the student graffiti on school property? The explanation is usually met by blank stares.
“You just have to experience it,” I explain.
There are three PS restaurants, PS 310 in Culver City, PS 612 in DTLA, and PS 805 in Westlake. I believe another, PS 818, may be opening up in Sherman Oaks pretty soon. This recommendation is specific to the Westlake location.
The restaurant’s tagline is “An Education in Food & Beer” and trust me, there is no taste bud left behind at PS 805. A few weeks ago, the fiance and I headed over there after we watched a movie at the Westlake Promenade. One would think that with a theme like public school, the decor would reek of kitsch. But whoever set up the design of this place aced it.
The ambiance is cool without being too trendy, a marriage of industrial pragmatism and childhood school-days nostalgia. The menu looks like a black and white composition book. The cocktail napkins look like wide ruled paper. Their happy hour is called recess and their share-able plates are called study group. But beyond the cutesy theme of the restaurant, the food is delicious.
Chef driven, each PS restaurant has a different menu. And because they use locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, the menu changes every few months. Everything, including the condiments, are made fresh, in-house. I ordered the C.C.B. (the handheld cobb), which, as the name suggests, is a cobb salad in burger form. It’s a juicy chicken burger with bibb lettuce, sweet tomato jam, blue cheese mayo, crisp bacon, and avocado, all topped with a fried egg on a buttery brioche bun. I can’t think of a more difficult task than to make a fully cooked ground chicken burger patty juicy but the chefs did it. And it was AMAZING. I actually have dreams about this burger. It was served with crispy fries and homemade sriracha ketchup. YUM.
The fiance ordered the Schoolyard Dog, an all beef hot dog served on a buttery lobster roll. The toppings change daily, but on this particular day it was topped with caramelized onions and cheese. Yes, I had a bite. Yes, it was delicious.
PS 805 also has a great beer selection, with a focus on local and seasonal brews.
Then we ordered dessert. That I was completely stuffed seemed unimportant to the sweet tooth portion of my brain. It saw lemon meringue and goddammit it was going to have it. What showed up was a beautiful layered concoction of pecan-graham cracker crust, tangy lemon curd, and toasted meringue. It was so good that I continued to eat despite my growing food baby. The toasted meringue was light and sweet, cutting the tartness of the smooth lemon curd, and the crust deliciously complemented the two with a nutty crunch.
The service was also top notch. Our waitress was friendly but not overbearing. She was knowledgeable about how the food was prepared and had informed recommendations.
PS 805 has a great atmosphere, delicious food, and friendly service. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
Public School 805 – 120 N. Promenade Way, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 – http://www.publicschool805.com/