It's a good play on words — ends meet, Ends Meat — a clever reference to a tight household budget.
For Ends Meat chef-owner Kevin
It would be four years before Dreifuss found a vacant space in downtown Hollywood to build his first restaurant and another year of renovations before he would unveil Ends Meat. Today, the modern-American eatery is earning rave reviews with locals and foodies alike, drawing crowds from as far as Dreifuss' former stomping grounds in Miami for a taste of his creative, quirky dishes.
"This menu is a mix of flavors I love to work with, things that taste good together, what's in
Dreifuss has cooked a bit of everything over the course of his 22-year career. He met his wife, Georgianna, while working at the Caneel Bay Resort in Saint John. The couple left the island shortly after they married, completing stints in several cities (including four years spent in Scotts-dale, Arizona). They made a last-minute move that would change their lives.
"We won a pair of first-class tickets to anywhere in the world," says Georgianna, who — rather than plan a vacation or explore a new area of the world — suggested they trade them in for a one-way trip to Miami.
"It was either the best or worst decision of our life," says
In 2011, just a few months after relocating to Kendall,
Today, many of
Although it's meant to change with the seasons, much of it is funky food, creative food, fun food. But it's also approachable food.
"Our goal is to make simple food, but to make simple food well," says
When Ends Meat opened in March in downtown Hollywood, no one quite knew what to think, not even Dreifuss. Tucked between Ginger Bay Cafe and a pawn shop,
Luckily, Dreifuss and his team appear poised to break that trend. While some restaurants are comfortable and some are delectable, a small number — like Ends Meat — are able to strike a balance between the two.
With its near-hidden location off Hollywood Boulevard, it's easy to miss Ends Meat on the first pass. The entrance, removed from the street beneath a long overhang, is recognizable only by the packed outdoor patio seating and large, fork-shaped sign above.
Inside, the narrow passage beside the front bar offers just enough room that if you and a server should pass the ten-seat counter at the same time, elbows will brush.
Toward the back, additional table and booth seating accommodates 20 more, and — if you are the alfresco type — another 15 or so tables outside.
Open for both lunch and dinner, the restaurant's two menus open with similar items. Day and night you'll find close to a dozen starters and a raw bar that includes ceviche, smoked prawns, and an assortment of East or West Coast oysters served with the chef's own apple mignonette and a housemade smoked red pepper cocktail sauce that's good enough to eat on its own.
Out of close to a dozen appetizers, only one — the lemon-scented smoked trout fish dip — could be avoided. It's a touch too creamy for my taste, a heaping pile of cream cheese and sour cream flecked with slivers of house-smoked trout that's so pasty thick I almost mistake it for something else. The flavor is there, still, and some of the freshest I've found, but perhaps a more homogenous blend would help me forget that the main ingredient in my fish dip isn't actually the fish.
If it's fish you're after, however, go for those mahi-mahi sausages instead: Dreifuss' most inventive creation, a three-year perfecting process for stuffing fresh-ground
Here's to hoping nothing changes — as so many good fish tacos at new restaurants almost always do — with Dreifuss' satisfying combination of fresh catch married with a piquant slaw accented with a spicy chipotle aioli, cotija cheese, and large sprigs of fresh cilantro.
Served for both lunch and dinner, the Reuben egg rolls are a must — even if you're not a fan of Reuben sandwiches or traditional egg rolls. I've had such a pairing several times before, but never one this well-executed: slow-cooked corned beef chopped until it's blended into a fine mince and stuffed into crispy egg roll shells with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. The resulting dish is nothing short of salty-cheesy-tangy heaven, and the secret dipping sauce is a blend of Thousand Island dressing and whole-grain mustard, traditional Reuben condiments.
Dreifuss didn't want to put a burger on his menu, but be happy he did. The Mitch HedBurger is only on there because it's just that good, homage to Dreifuss' favorite comedian, often referred to as
While the menu will change with the seasons, these dishes — including the seafood jambalaya — will be mainstays, says
Of course, dessert shouldn't be overlooked, and all of it is handcrafted with the same passionate enthusiasm as the main plates. Georgianna, a de facto manager and also the restaurant's in-house pastry chef, constantly bakes up a variety of fresh cakes and pies. Most recently, it was a beautiful Key lime pie. One bite of the silky, pale-yellow custard and you'll find yet another balance — that of tangy and sweet — has been struck perfectly.
You could say there was a time when
"I hear a lot of people give their feedback each night, and they'll say, 'That wasn't just a meal, it was an
1910 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday, and 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday. Call 954-391-7400, or visit endsmeat.com.
- Smoked trout dip $10
- Reuben egg rolls $8
- Fish tacos $11
- Housemade fish sausage $12
- Mitch HedBurger $13
- Pie $5-$7