Much like its sister bar Royale in the East Village, the newly opened Williams & Bailey successfully toes the line between posh and pedestrian, balancing between pseudo-speakeasy (think faux tin ceilings and fancy whiskeys) and local watering hole (think $3 beers and Giants games on the big screen).
For those familiar with the East Village location, owner James Peralta features his popular "Royale" burger here at Williams & Bailey. Angelenos, however, might find more appeal in the Prime Rib Dip ($12), thick slices of prime rib tucked into a baguette, slathered with horseradish cream and dunked into hot jus, the rich beefy juice from the meat. Better known as the French dip sandwich—a Los Angeles creation—Williams & Bailey's succulent version almost lives up to the original.
White meat lovers can order up a plate of Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($10), served atop a waffle with onion gravy and maple syrup. Despite the lumpy gravy and somewhat dry waffle, the chicken itself yielded big chunks of juicy breast meat—a great portion size for the price.
Fried Chicken Wings ($7), which came highly recommended by the waitress, were a sweet-and-spicy delight, but paled in comparison to the juiciness of the Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
As a snack or a side, Zucchini Fries ($5) are the way to go. Avoiding the sogginess that plagues most vegetable fries, Williams & Bailey's zucchini strips are perfectly crunchy and easy to keep eating, especially when dipped in the accompanying ranch dressing.
Still in its infancy stage, Williams & Bailey remains cash-only and closes at 2 a.m. But on the flip side, the kitchen is open until 1 a.m., giving you a chance to satisfy your "Royale with Cheese" craving into the wee hours of the morning.
Williams & Bailey
507 Grand Street, Brooklyn NY 11211 (map)
About the author: Nancy Huang, who comes to New York by way of Los Angeles, writes The Wanderist, a food and travel blog of adventures here and abroad. She loves noodles, subway maps, and word games.