Croft Alley house-made yogurt with chlorophyll and fresh berries
Wherever you are, it’s pretty likely you can find a restaurant within just a few minutes from your location. However, if you’re looking for great spots with amazing food, prices and atmosphere, the list can start to dwindle down pretty fast.
One of the eateries that hits the mark as a perfect 10 is Croft Alley. Located in the Melrose District, Croft Alley was founded in 2014 and aimed to make its customers feel at home. The restaurant claims to be “unlike any other experience in Hollywood.”
The concept of the establishment had more of a charcuterie and build-your-own component, says owner Michael Della Femina. In order to achieve that, he continues, Croft Alley was allowed to change based on decisions and the identity that it was communicating.
“What was and is always a constant for us is our desire to be very close to our community, identify needs and inspire memorable experiences for guests on every visit,” he says.
All menu decisions are made by partner and co-owner Phuong Tran at the reins as executive chef and sous chef Amanda Lanza.
Tran’s secret recipe for the house-made yogurt at Croft Alley is as top secret as the Crabby Patty on “SpongeBob.”
“People try and break into our vault for the recipe,” jokes Della Femina.
Along with the yogurt, the cauliflower grilled cheese and tuna melt are also Tran’s recipes that customers can never have enough of.
To quench anyone’s thirst on a hot summer day, the honey ginger lemonade (yet another Tran creation) makes the perfect drink.
Not only does Croft Alley have delicious food for its patrons to enjoy, now they are starting to incorporate some of their own products like hot sauce, jams, pickled items, salt, oils, aprons, linens and bar rags.
When it comes to incorporating new items to the menu, a lot of research, development, tastings and trial and error are used, Della Femina says. Additionally, he states that new items are added to the menu fairly often and are sometimes seasonal or farmer’s market driven.
The environment at Croft Alley is so mellow that one time when the place was overly packed, a few customers brought out their table, placed it in the alley and still carried on with their dining experience.
“We always wanted to incorporate more of our alley into our space as part of the Croft canvas. Now we encourage it. ‘No, we don’t take reservations, but oh, you can bring your own table and chairs and be seated without a wait,” Della Femina offers.
While the success of the restaurant can be attributed to its popularity among customers, Della Femina also mentions the team as the true foundation.
“Croft Alley is a success because of Phuong’s great food and the talent and personality of our team running the show,” he says. “In front of the house Madison Bright, Allie Brown, Hope Iacullo, Sara Sterling, Chelsea Connor and in the kitchen Amanda Lanza, Jeff Bailey, Amiee Krasner, Helen Nguyen, Jade Curley. They provide our guests with the unique experience that is Croft Alley.”
If you’d like to experience that yourself, drop by 8428 Melrose Place, Los Angeles 90069. Croft Alley is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
If you’d like to attend private dinners and the Supper Series, keep an eye out on social media or scope out what’s happening when you drop by.
For more information, visit croftalley.com.
Marvin Vasquez contributed to this story.