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BLD for lunch review

We tried out the new BLD for lunch today -- this is the more casual cafe from the owners of Grace in the old Opaline/Red space. Menu was a little less imaginative than I had hoped, but as you might expect from Grace, ingredients and preparation were first-rate all the way. My main quibble was the prices -- I guess this isn't the 90s anymore! Several of the sandwiches are over $15, such as the Wagyu burger, the shortrib sandwich and pork sandwich.
I had the hempseed-crusted tofu salad with Asian greens and grilled shisito peppers ($12) -- it was light and flavorful with a soy dressing and the hempseeds were nice and crunchy on the outside of the tofu. My friend had the turkey burger with gruyere, it looked big and tasty ($12). I would like to see a few more interesting salads for the summer as I wasn't in the mood for bean and bacon soup and such. The dinner menu is the same as lunch with the addition of grilled half chicken, hangar steak or grilled salmon with two sides each. Room has been nicely updated once again, with an airy, open layout and the old bar area serving as an entry now.

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  1. Thanks for the write-up.

    I understand BLD has braised short ribs for breakfast?? True?

    1. Hmm...could be, I didn't get a menu. I remember an eggs benedict and hangar steak combo (that oughta hold you for most of the day) but I only recall seeing the short ribs as a sandwich.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chowpatty

        I had it - the eggs benedict w/ hangar steak and cabernet bernaise...YUM! My friend and I split that and the blueberry ricotta pancakes...DOUBLE YUM! light and fluffy and the berries extremely fresh, plump, delish.

      2. Do you know if they are open for brunch on weekends?

        Thanks

        Tuna Toast: http://tokyoastrogirl.blogspot.com/

        1. Well, breakfast, lunch and dinner...they must be. Here's their number:
          323-930-9744

          1. Yes, brunch on the weekends. We had a $50 weekday lunch there for 2 - better off heading across the street to Eat Well. Food was fine - not $50 fine though!!

            1. I've always been impressed by the wine list at Grace. How does it look at BLD?

              1 Reply
              1. re: OliveBelle

                Wine list is ok - pretty limited in terms of wine by the glass. Maybe they have a better list at dinner; it certainly doesn't anywhere near match the list at Grace.

              2. As far as food BLD is very good in my opinion. The service leaves alot to be desired, have gone for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner. When a friend and I went in at 7am for breakfast we waited 30+ minutes when there was 3 total guests in the restaurant. Eat Well earns "kudos" for having horrific service and sub-par food. I certainly hope the service improves at both locations, although I won't be returning to Eat Well.

                1. I was very impressed with the quality of ingredients at BLD (house-made pickles, Cowgirl Creamery, Harry's Berries, etc.) We had the burger, chicken sausage penne, and shirt rib sandwich. Very tasty. Desserts priced fairly -- $2.50 per scoop of house-made ice cream and the rest were $6 or $7. The Nutella crepes were the fave of the table last week. We didn't manage to get to the charcutrie or cheese selections, but they looked worth exploring.

                  The breakfast menu sounded really good to me. I want to go back and check it out. I heard their jam is great. They are open 8 AM - Midnight. I like a place you can drop in any time.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Marco Polo

                    Those pickles are house-made? Really? Ours were floppy and tasted straight out of a jar. Certainly not as good as Bubbies.

                    1. re: DreinLA

                      No, those are homemade. The spicing was unique and although I didn't paticularly like them, they certainly taste like they were out of a jar. Crispness is only one possible virtue in homemade pickles.

                    2. re: Marco Polo

                      was there for breakfast last weekend-

                      THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE JAM!!!!!
                      I asked for it with my toast, and my (mediocre) waiter said.."ummm the closest we have is Pear Butter"... which was fine, but not what I want on my toast with my eggs

                      the blueberry-ricotta pancakes were divine, but everything else was just OK, and the service was unconscionably SLOW and inattentive

                    3. Just had brunch at BLD. I had the turkey burger and my partner, the hamburger. We sat outside and the service was a bit spotty, but the food was great. I LOVED the pickles.

                      It's definitely going into the mix.

                      1. We've gone to BLD for dinner the past 2 Fridays and overall really enjoyed it. The first time I just had the tomato soup and butter lettuce salad, both of which were quite good. My guest did the Build-your-own with salmon, haricot verts, fingerling potatoes and pesto. I swear they make the best pesto in the world. We had the brownie sundae and cobbler for dessert - it was the most buttery brownie I've ever had, and the cobbler would have been better if they'd peeled the peaches.

                        This last week, I had the orechiette pasta, which I didn't care for, and he had the pork burger, which was out of this world. Dessert was the shortcake, a nice version, but nothing to write home about, and London Porter cake, which was really good, rich gingerbready cake with cinnamon ice cream.

                        Service both times has been good. The first time, it was clear that our server was occupied with a very high maintenance table of 6, but we weren't overly neglected. Last time we had a very concerned, earnest young server, who was a little paranoid, but friendly.

                        The breakfast menu looks out of this world, and is on the agenda for next weekend.

                        1. Went yesterday for lunch for a co-worker's birthday, and I must say that my expectations and excitement to try the place were very high. Unfortunately, was left a bit disappointed. As reported, the service was horrible - very slow to come to the table, slow with the drinks, took my soda for a refill and forgot to bring a new one, etc... The ambience in general was very nice, and I liked the vibe of the place - reminiscent of AXE on Abbot Kinney...similar feeling for some reason.

                          In terms of food, asked the waitress what her favorite thing on the menu was and she said the Turkey Burger - so I gave it a go. Ordered with Gruyere cheese, but it was delivered with Cheddar and opted not to return it since it was so slow anyway. The quality of the bun and meat were fine, but found the whole burger a bit bland and the accompanying salad was a very simple spring lettuce mix with cherry tomatos and oil/vinegar. My companion had a shell pasta with pancetta that I tasted and thought was good, but too salty for her preference.

                          I will certainly go back and try dinner, and try some more on the menu cuz I dug the vibe and it is difficult to find that style of restaurant in LA (upscale, nice, but not "uber-hot/trendy/annoying"). However, for all the anticipation I had...disappointed with first visit.

                          1. went for brunch today. i do like the space, it doesnt feel nearly as "sceney" as places such as toast or as casual as lulu's/griddle cafe, but probably because it's also open for dinner.

                            just a quick break down of what we ordered. none of the breakfasts were amazingly outstanding, but the servers were quite nice and we didnt have to wait too long for our food. then again, we were there at 10 am which is 2 hours before most people wake up on saturday.

                            orange juice - good, a tad sour
                            blueberry ricotta pancakes - good but not mindblowing
                            vegetable fritatta - again, good but nothing spectacular
                            eggs florentine - the waitress raved about this, a little strange because it came baked in a dish and not on top of bread. the flavors of the rapini and goat cheese were sort of nicely balanced, and it wasnt as greasy as originally feared.
                            fingerling potatoes - outstanding
                            french fries - very good
                            brioche - house made, outstanding (all the other breads are from la brea bakery)
                            biscuits with chives/cream cheese - good

                            all in all, a nice change from my usual staple weekend brunch at toast/doughboys. the french toast topped with fresh fruit looked amazing. portions are generous.

                            total for four after tax and tip was $64.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ckbear

                              I went for lunch today and I thought the food was excellent - for what it is. I had the short rib sandwich - which was excellent except for a little soggy bread. It's not the kind of thing I would normally eat, so I can't make a comparison. The vegetable salad was good. The ingredients were top notch, and the presentation and service were good. We went with our server's recommendations and weren't disappointed. The bill for two, with wine by the glass, was $66 w/o tip. Would I go again, probably. The all day breakfast menu was intriguing and the pancakes, and little maple syrup cabins were cute. The charcuterie plate looked delicious as well. Don't know how the ambiance would be at dinner. It was that minimalist decor that's popular now - and reminded me a bit of the now defunct EM bistro. It may be loud if really full of people who've had more alcohol than one would ingest for lunch.

                            2. Thanks for the great report. I almost joined you today but my travels took me to Eagle Rock instead. I've had two excellent brunchs at B.L.D. and look forward to dining there again soon.