From the outside, The Federal Bar looks exactly like the bank building it was in the old North Hollywood, but step inside and it’s a very different scene. Funky, trendy, very hip, awfully loud, and thriving with a throng of young people hanging out, fueling up on burgers with a wide range of tasty contents (i.e., beef, lamb, turkey, and vegan) served with parmesan and garlic tinged house fries and priced from $10—12.
The Federal also offers an array of sandwiches featuring an excellent boneless short rib with grilled onions and gruyere cheese, $11 with a house green salad or fries. An appealing selection of “pass around” specialties includes hot wings, fennel sausage meatballs, spicy tuna tartar, chicken sliders, and more priced from $10 to $13.
The service staff could not be more obliging. There’s even a live entertainment lounge upstairs, TV screens abound, and civilized conversation is seriously challenged by the entire concept. It’s not for families with youngsters. Nor can I recommend the Federal gastropub to older adults who might overload with all that youthful exuberance.
There’s valet parking behind the restaurant at 5303 Lankershim Blvd. just down the street from the El Portal Theatre.