Ashland Hill

Internationally tinged California cuisine and drinks to match

By Jen Jones Donatelli

It’s hard not to notice the giant wall sign as you enter Ashland Hill’s bright and airy outdoor beer garden, featuring this Raymond Chandler quote: "It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in."

Indeed, you may find this Main Street favorite to be habit-forming. Whether it's the signature shawarma wrap, made with chicken or falafel, or the "OG Burger," topped with bacon onion jam, watercress, and salmoriglio sauce, foodies keep coming back for more of this restaurant's take on New California cuisine.

And just what exactly is that? According to general manager Chloe Scott, at Ashland Hill New California translates to a mix of "worldly flavors." Case in point: the Asian-American flair that transforms the most comforting of American dishes in the wildly popular shishito mac and cheese. The menu here showcases myriad influences, spanning everything from Mediterranean to German to Mexican, all tied together by the common thread of commitment to local ingredients.
That local mindset extends to the beer list, with 16 taps featuring breweries like Golden Road, Santa Monica Brew Works, and Angel City. And these aren't any ordinary taps, either—resident local artist Brianna Silkaitis creates original art for each one, as well as for the chalkboard art seen throughout the bar.

For cocktails, the gin program in particular is where Ashland Hill shines. More than 60 gin and 10 tonic selections tempt enthusiasts to build the perfect DIY gin and tonic, while a variety of craft gin cocktails satisfy those who'd rather outsource their mixology to the experts behind the bar. One of the more intriguing selections is the golden martini, made with Aviation Gin (barrel-aged in house), mescal, and Angostura bitters.

More than anything, Ashland Hill is just pure fun. The bartender has been known to dress up as "Shawarma Man," and your cocktail just might be served by a Rosie the Riveter look-alike. A hard habit to break, indeed.


Mon–Thu 11 AM–10 PM; Fri 11AM–midnight; Sat 9 AM–midnight; Sun 9 AM–10 PM

price range

$12 (green salad) to $23 (steak frites)