15255 Palisades Village Lane
Pacific Palisades, CA
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Palisades Village dining spot The Draycott—owned and operated by Palisadians Matt and Marissa Hermer—is one of the restaurants that has shifted its operations in order to continue to serve the community through the pandemic.
“As a neighborhood restaurant, we felt it was very important to continue to play our role in feeding our friends and neighbors,” Marissa explained. “We’ve all started cooking more in the kitchen, but also, we all need a break from stirring at the stove, so if we can offer a weekly special dinner to look forward to, we are humbled to play a part in family dinners.”
Marissa touched on the fact that the little things—like being able to have a favorite cocktail from The Draycott or fan-favorite English Pea Dip—helps satisfy a craving for normalcy.
The restaurant, which opened its doors in September 2018, is also able to play a role in feeding those in need through its “YOU GIVE. WE COOK. THEY EAT.” program.
“In mid-March, we started delivering meals to the frontlines in hospitals, to our first responders and to our elderly neighbors,” Marissa explained. “We started a weekly giveaway on our Instagram where on a Thursday, our followers can tag someone they think needs a smile—and a surprise dinner—and we will choose a few winners every week to receive a dinner on us.”
Marissa shared that after a few weeks of these giveaways, followers and friends began messaging her, asking if they would be able to contribute to these donated dinners. Through a GoFundMe, more than $30,000 has been raised for donated meals to frontlines at hospitals and first responders.
Meals have been served at St. John’s Hospital, UCLA Santa Monica, UCLA Westwood, Cedars-Sinai and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The Hermers have also delivered to first responders through Los Angeles Fire Department Stations 23 and 69, Santa Monica Fire Department, West Hollywood Fire Department and McCormick ambulance teams.
We started off our meal with the Chopped Black Kale Salad—sopressata, pickled peppers, crushed olives, ricotta salata, breadcrumbs and oregano. Usually I am not the biggest fan of kale, but there’s something about this salad that just worked. The ingredients are chopped finely, which makes each and every bite explode with flavor and gives the kale a nice, soft texture. This salad may also be served vegetarian or gluten-free.
Next was a homemade pasta: Casarecce, an arugula-cashew pesto dish—a vegetarian option that can also be made to be gluten free by request. I love everything about this dish. The Draycott nailed the cheese to sauce to pasta ratio, combining for the ultimate comfort food experience.
For the Meat dish, we tried the Organic Roasted Chicken, served with torn croutons, wilted escarole and natural jus. After pouring the natural jus, a light sauce that comes packed full of flavor, over the entire plate, the dish came alive. The croutons stayed crisp on top through the drive home, making this a solid option for a takeaway meal.
Other options on the menu that are on my list to go back to The Draycott to try include the Roasted Natural Ribeye Steak, made with a peppercorn sauce and herb butter, and Char Grilled Tuna, yellow fin tuna served with mango and red onion salsa.
We finished our dining experience with a Berry Upside-Down Cake, crafted with freshly milled almond and hazelnut flour and topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream. Wow—this was the perfect ending to the meal. The cake is moist and buttery, with a tartness on the bottom from the berries that blends well with the semi-sweetness of the whipped cream.
It was another item that made the journey safely home, with the whipped cream packed separately for topping when it is time to serve.
The Draycott is currently open for curbside pickup or door-to-door delivery, Wednesday through Sunday evenings. The restaurant’s website includes an online ordering system, and orders may also be placed over the phone.
There is also a special Mother’s Day Menu for Sunday, May 10—which must be preordered by Thursday, May 7, at 5 p.m. The menu features items like a Smoked Fish Platter, sliced wild Scottish smoked salmon, smoked trout and tomato salad, smoked fish dip, whipped cream cheese, and everything bagels, which serves four to six.
There are also large plates, designed to serve four to six people, like Grilled Heritage Pork Chops, with roasted potatoes and applesauce, and Spinach and Mushroom Quiche, with local baby greens and red wine vinaigrette.
“While we aren’t yet able to welcome our guests onto our terrace or in our dining room,” Marissa said, “we appreciate the opportunity to continue to wine and dine our friends and neighbors, at their own kitchen tables.”
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