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Off Vine - PK's Review

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For zee pictures, go here: http://omgfood.blogspot.com/2006/10/o...

Off Vine
6263 Leland Way
Hollywood, CA
10.04.06 - Wednesday, 1:00 PM
Myself + 1 guest (Miss Patrish

)

During my previous experience at Off Vine, which transpired some months ago, I fell in love with the space. The restaurant is lovingly located in a gorgeous old craftsman house, immaculately restored and oozing with Hollywood charm and history. The food wasn't much to look at or taste, and the service halted to a near stand-still, but I was willing to forgive and overlook, assuming it was a bad day. How could such a special space hold such mediocrity? No, I had to try try again.

One of my top girls joined me for a recent leisurely lunch. We wanted fab eats and a gorgeous backdrop by which to gossip and catch up on all manner of life-goings-on. Off Vine sound delish. Aside from the astoundingly perfect ambiance, however, this place is world of no. From service to food, I really can't recall a more disappointing experience this year. Our server even had a shadow - a waitress-in-training. Perhaps she was intentionally showing her What Not To Do - one can only hope. Our drinks and water were bone dry for most of the meal, things came at a colossally slow rate, and trying to get our check felt like we were asking for a winning lotto ticket.

And then there's the issue of the food. Oy. Vey.
Let me explain.

Drinks:

Soda/water, but not much of it. Wine list isn't interesting.

Entrees:

Mine (Pictured above)
Duck Breast Salad with Spinach, Mushrooms, and a Wasabi Dressing

-- I freaking love a good fowl, and mushies? What's not to adore? This salad also came with pine nuts, and I'll admit I thought the combination sounded strange, but strange enough to maybe work. Yes, well, I was dead wrong.
The spinach was nice, let's start there. No e-coli, so that's a victory.
The duck - overcooked, dark, dry, disgusting.
The dressing - SO full of wasabi, absolutely no other flavors could creep through. I like a spicy kick, but honestly, this was ridiculous.
The pine nuts - didn't work at ALL.
The mushrooms - I'm not sure what they were marinated in, but all I could detect was salt, and a horrific consistency.
This salad SUCKED - shamefully so. It didn't look appetizing, and the flavors smashed each other into an unsavory oblivion. Nothing matched, texture or taste. All. Wrong.

P's
Chopped Chicken Salad

-- Comparatively speaking, this was an absolute treasure, but still - ick. Some of the veggies were wilted and old, and one hunk of tomato still had the Del Monte sticker attached. Tacky!

Poor Off Vine either had one Off Day, or, as two times would tell me, this is simply not a high-quality eatery. Such a shame. I love that house.

Damage for 2 drinks and 2 salads - about $28, before tip.

RESTAURANT REPORT CARD - Off Vine, Visit 2

Ambiance - A
Service - D
Food (Taste) - D+
Food (Presentation) - C-
Wine/Drinks - C-
Value - C-
Vibe/Energy/Scene - B

Overall Experience - C-

Final word - I've learned my lesson. I'll just enjoy the view.

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  1. couldn't agree more. had a horrible dinner (foodwise) there some months ago -- have zilch desire to go back...

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Oracle

      I feel the same way. It's too bad...nice room, good location, but just very ineptly prepared food. Why?

    2. i haven't been for about a year, but i thought i remember that they had pretty good dessert souffles. anyone had one recently?

      1. Thanks for the review, I was thinking of trying this place but it really doesn't sound worth it. By the way, not to sound critical because I love your reviews, but what's with "sandies" and "mushies"? Are we three?

        1. *laugh* We're not three (well, most days we're not), but we are full on kooktastic. I get SO bored with the same old same old in writing these reviews . . .

          Yes, avoid Off Vine. I hear it's semi-decent for brunch, but beyond that - it's a no.

          1. Went to Off Vine today for brunch.

            Was sat at a patio table, and wanted for 16 minutes before someone even approached us, even though the other tables around us were being tended to.

            The waitress asked if our order has been taken, I replied by letting her know that we haven't even seen a menu.

            I had champagne and a decaf coffee. The champagne must have been mums or cooks, as it was acridly sweet- and $7 a glass!

            A toasted bagel came out which we greedily attacked. Mid 6 or 7 bite, we notice a huge hair tangled in the strawberry preserves. I put my bagel peice down.

            I ordered the Eggs Benny: the hollandaise was too tart, the english muffin wasn't toasted enough, so it tough and difficult to cut into, and the final straw that that their was very prominent peice of eggshell still hugging my poached egg.
            My portion of breakfast potatoes meager, 5 tiny wedges.

            My coffee was not refilled until the end of my meal... actually we were not checked in on until it was time to clear the table at which I pointed out I needed a refresher on my mug.

            Off Vine is bad on all points.

            1. Spot on review! What a fabulous location and fit out. We had a table in the front garden and it was exquisite.
              Bad news was that my entree was inedible. I had the Caribbean Shrimp which was overcooked to beyond rubber such that I actually felt sorry for the shrimp. It was, inexplicably for its description, served with wilted overcooked broccoli in some type of white sauce congealed in the florets, brussel sprouts and small baby carrots clearly straight out of a packet. My friends had similar bad luck with their meals. We shared a chocolate souffle and a Grand Marnier souffle - okay, but sunken and a little on the mousse side. Great espresso coffee though!
              All in all, I won't be back and certainly wouldn't risk recommending it to friends.

              1. Your review seems accurate judging by my experiences there. In Hollywood for good food in an old craftsman house kind of place, go to Cafe De Artiste (spelling) on Mcadden just north of sunset a couple small blocks east of highland. I always have a good meal there and the large back patio (covered) is great.