It appears Ilan Hall’s The Gorbals is still suffering setbacks from that darned broken broiler that closed the restaurant for two months immediately after opening. The unit has been fixed, but L.A. Downtown News reports that the Top Chef winner is feeling challenged to regain initial momentum. Hall himself says, “With all the buildup we had in the beginning, it’s hard to get that back.” The Gorbals’ crowds have been too inconsistent for comfort, with some nights full but others barely over half-full, though the chef notes, “we’re still busy.”
With encouraging early reviews and one-of-a-kind items like a haggis burger, a surplus of open tables should be a boon to encourage diners seeking adventurous comfort recipes, and to Hall’s fans, who might have thought seats at the celeb-run restaurant were unattainable. Just as L.A. eaters were slow to discover and understand Stefan Richter or Michael Voltaggio’s respective restaurants, we think another encouraging review from Virbila and a brand new year can get The Gorbals going. If the world at large doesn’t fall at Hall’s feet, at least he feels the support of Downtown. “Although I’ve only been here a couple of years, this feels like home,” the chef says.