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Anyone tried the Village Idiot on Melrose and Martel?

ecco22 Jan 10, 2007 12:20 AM

I just saw that the new restaurant in Chianti's old space recently opened and was wondering if anyone had tried it. I hear that it is a bistro/pub.

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    RoniRoni RE: ecco22 Jan 10, 2007 12:52 AM

    Is that what it's called? I thought it was Public House

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      carter RE: ecco22 Jan 10, 2007 01:15 AM

      Here is a link to a small article on it via eaterLA:

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        ecco22 RE: ecco22 Jan 10, 2007 01:26 AM

        Thanks, I'm going to try it tonight. Will let you know.

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          RoniRoni RE: ecco22 Jan 10, 2007 10:05 PM

          I was there last night! This place has a lot of potential. Really liked the design and ambiance. The menu is currently limited (ie small) since they've just opened this week. The food was good, but since it is based on an English pub, it has its limitations. Boo - if it were some fab italian I'd be all over it.

          Still a great place to have a bottle of wine with friends.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RoniRoni
            ipsedixit RE: RoniRoni Jan 10, 2007 10:15 PM

            Timing is everything in life ...

            See my review here

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            RoniRoni RE: ecco22 Jan 10, 2007 10:21 PM

            Too funny!

            This place also has its merits because there are no cool restaurants on Melrose. For a place that is so popping during the day, it really could use a few cool spots to hang at night.

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              cincodemayo1 RE: ecco22 Jan 12, 2007 04:52 PM

              Tried it last night.

              I live about 5 blocks away and I've been driving by it saying "that place looks really cool" for the last couple weeks and I finally went it.

              Atmospherewise, it's great. Very NYC. Lots of dark woods, very open lofty feel, exposed brick wall. Loved it. The place had a good vibe, not wait, but pretty full.

              Foodwise, it was not bad. Not terrific, but not bad. I think it's more of a bar with food, rather than a restaurant with drinks. I had the catfish with black eyed peas...nothing special, but it was cooked well. My friend had the pork shank, which I thought was pretty damn good. Fall off the bone. Not out of this world, but pretty good for the $15 or so it cost him.

              Drinkwise, lots on draft. Lots bottled. Wines, full bar, etc.

              I'll be back.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cincodemayo1
                cincodemayo1 RE: cincodemayo1 Feb 17, 2007 09:48 AM

                Back for round two last night. Got there at about 10:30 and there was a good crowd. Valet is now available but I found a meter right across the street.

                Walked in and all the tables were filled up, as was the bar. But enough room to move. Found the guy with the clipboard, put our name in, and only had 1 table ahead of us.

                Had the beer from Pasadena and another from San Diego. No food this time, except for the $4 cookie that we split...actually worth the price. It's quite big, and there were 3 of us, so by the time you split the cookie it's more than enough. Very rich, but hot and gooey.

                I'll have a review and pics up soon on my site: http://wwff.wordpress.com

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                peanut112 RE: ecco22 Jan 12, 2007 07:10 PM

                They had a good write up today in Daily Candy.
                if you're interested.

                I've been a few times and will keep going back. It's the kind of place that can give a neighborhood its character.

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                  pizzapie RE: ecco22 Feb 7, 2007 09:20 AM

                  I've been there 3 times when it first opened. The food is good (not great) but I like the "character" of the place until I went for the last time on Saturday. The host was seating his friends and we waited for 1.5 hours and finally left. He never came up to us to say were are sorry (he told us we were next when we were a half hour in). We left and went to Frankies across the street -- a true neighborhood place!

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                    peanut112 RE: ecco22 Feb 7, 2007 09:26 AM

                    PizzaPie, that's a shame and it shouldn't happen. I was there on Saturday night and had a great time with some really tasty food....you're right in that's it's good, not great..it's upscale pub food, it's not gourmet cuisine.
                    The biggest gripe I have with the place is a lack of a definitive host stand to coordinate the inundation of people on the weekends. You shouldn't have been ignored for 1.5 hours but I think you're probably exagerrating a tad by saying the host was seating his friends. I saw the list he created and saw him make a lot of people wait, but given your completely justified frustration for waiting that long it may have seemed like he was seating friends.
                    Friday nights and Saturday nights are insane from 8pm-10pm....give it another chance....I can only imagine that Frankie's wasn't a well oiled machine during its first month of operations....In fact Saturday night was the eve of their one MONTH anniversary.

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                      mauled6 RE: ecco22 Feb 17, 2007 12:36 PM

                      I work in restaurant public relations and some of our resident foodies just dined there. They gave it pretty high marks. It's fairly simple pub food, but it's done well. It is new, however, and any new place will have its rough patches.

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                        ktanji RE: ecco22 Feb 19, 2007 08:58 AM

                        I had a nice dinner there last Saturday. The atmosphere is great with open windows on Melrose, high ceilings, nice but not too trendy. The beer selection was great, with selections from my two favorite beer brands, Craftsman (dig that 1903 lager and Poppyfields Ale) and Stone (IPA!). Food was pretty good too, I had their version of bangers and mash and the fiancee had a 1/2 chicken. A lot of times you don't want to eat at a trendy place and this fits the bill as a nice neighborhood hangout.

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                          pupster911 RE: ecco22 Feb 20, 2007 06:11 PM

                          Horrible, horrible experience here. I had the pork shank. I had high hopes when I first put my fork through the meat, because it just fell off the bone. Too bad it was tough and dry and without any memorable flavor. My friend had the catfish which was fine. Both dishes were on a bed of cannelini beans that were totally undercooked and inedible. For dessert we had the apple tart that must have been made for a diabetic, because there was no sugar!! It was so undersweetened it could practically be considered a savory dish. Too bad because it's a cute space with a great atmosphere.

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                            peanut112 RE: ecco22 Feb 20, 2007 07:19 PM

                            pupster, perhaps the server was negligent in their explanation of the tart, but that's exactly how it's supposed to be. This is an English recipe and as an ex-pat Brit, I can tell you I've had tarts like that quite a lot and this one measures up. The shank on the other hand is a shame.

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