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Tom's Urban DTLA

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Examiner.com attended a media sneak peek of Tom's Urban days before it opened in DTLA's L.A. LIVE and left full... of both food AND alcohol.

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Occupying the former space of ESPN Zone, the restaurant's size is perfect for busy L.A. LIVE. With sport fans, conference attendees, hotel guests, tourists, and local residents bustling about all day long: how could a place that serves heavy-handed drinks and delicious food not be a great addition to the area?

The sneak peek started with a trip to the bar - a heavy focus for the restaurant as many people in the area at nighttime are in search of a drink before or after a game, or maybe before heading for a night out. Examiner.com ordered a jalapeno cucumber margarita - and it was delicious. Jalapeno margaritas are popping up all over lately it seems but the heat of peppers mixed with the sweetness of cucumber is something very refreshing. Over the course of the evening - four or five of these delicious concoctions were consumed and they did their job.

After the first drink, attendees moved to the back dining area that offers a very interesting menu for a chain(ish) restaurant. Having enjoyed Tom Ryan's recent opening of combined Smashburger/Live Basil Pizza (also in L.A. LIVE), Examiner.com knew that there would be more than just your typical fare. There's way more flair. More importantly, this cuisine is delivered very fast and there are plenty of options. According to Tom: food will be at your table in about six to eight minutes. Whether you want a few small bites, or a real meal, or something in between. Maybe a pizza? Whatever you want - you can get it here. But, cut the music, this is what is the coolest part - there are levels of how adventurous you want to go with your meal.

What does that mean? How would you categorize yourself if presented with these three terms: traditional, interesting, and adventurous? These three different adjectives divide the small plate menu very well into what you've seen before and what you may have never tried in your life. Some of the menu items that were tasted and Examiner approved:

- the (adventurous) sticky pork belly tacos are certainly worth a try. These tasty little bites are made of perfectly done pork belly, chipotle aioli, cole slaw, cilantro, and fresh orange.

- Tom's (interesting) version of a grilled cheese: the Grilled Croatian Fig Jam & Three Cheese. A sweet grilled cheese sounds odd - but you've got to try it. Definitely something one could eat a few times in life.

- the (interesting) San Marzano Meatball Marinara + Sonoma Goat Cheese. How can you go wrong with some meatballs?

If you're going to a game - this is the place to go with a group of friends and order an array of these small plates for all to enjoy. Small plates are generally between $5 and $11 but also have Truffled Cracked Lobster Sliders for $18.

Though they weren't tasted - the restaurant also has a terrific-looking breakfast menu featuring options such as Eggs in Purgatory (baked eggs, spicy sweet red pepper Moroccan sauce, and Sonoma goat cheese), and the Irishman (a Benedict consisting of corned beef, baked eggs, white sauce, asadero cheese and hollandaise sauce.)

Overall: a great addition to L.A. LIVE with a creative menu and great drinks.

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