- The hermit crab inhabits the sturdy shell of another departed beastie in order to protect its squishy pink bits from tidepool predators like fish, birds, and precocious toddlers. In the dry-land world of restaurants, witness the similarly adapted A/K/A. A Napa project from an 18yr LA resto vet, A/K/A's shielding its fleshy newrestaurantness in what was formerly the vaunted Keller Brothers market, where they'll serve up affordably upscale bistro fare, and heaping helpings of ////. Two years in the making, the transformed interior rocks a rustic main hall sporting a river-rock fireplace and a 14ft, 500-bottle wine rack; a sky-lit, semi-private rear dining room; a rattan-stooled, polished stone bar; and an airy lounge with couches and tree stump coffee tables for resting your Paul Bunions. The menu runs from skillet-seared calamari and house-made pickles/sauerkraut/charcuterie, to a towering reuben sandwich, to signatures like a slow-cooked portobello/heirloom/olive jus lamb-rack, a dry-aged porterhouse w/ wilted spinach & garlic confit, and braised beef shortribs w/ mushroom gravy, all trapped in a "fried potato cage" (the Atkins Alcatraz). As for sizzurp, the Napa/Euro wine list features 150 bottles under $60, including 50 by the glass and a series of flights. Or go for the $5 corkage, and pry some slimy pink Franzia from its square cardboard shell.
- © Thrillist 2013