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Little Next Door

brieflunchcounter Feb 15, 2007 08:44 AM

The husband and I spent our Valentine's Day walking to restaurants in our neighborhood for a bite. Breakfast at Doughboys, lunch at Joan's on Third, then picked up dinner to bring home at Little Next Door. Every single item we purchased at Little Next Door was delicious, including polenta with specks of marguez, grated cheese on top and a tomato based sauce. Polenta is in the shape of the Little Door cat logo. A wild mushroom chausson was earthy and tasty, with a perfect crust. The goat cheese tart was my husband's favorite, with a light flavor and a flaky crust. We also got one order of beef - six or seven thin slices of tender beef with a creamy dill sauce on the side. For dessert we had three of the tiny macaron's, pistachio, chocolate and strawberry. All were lovely but the pistachio was a real standout. This was our first visit to Little Next Door since its opening and we were very pleased. Am wondering about Little Next Door's consistency. Anyone else have an experience to share at this place?

By the way, lunch was so nuts at Joan's, it felt like a packed tour bus had stopped for lunch. The line was out the door. They really need to get rid of those barrells on the floor at the cash registers and in front of the food cases.

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  1. Chowpatty RE: brieflunchcounter Feb 15, 2007 10:07 AM

    Wow, wild mushroom chausson, that sounds delicious. I love apple chaussons but don't usually eat sweet pastries that often, I'm always in search of a good savory one. Goat cheese tart sounds good too, I'll have to put this on my list. Are there any tables? Can you eat your lunch there?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty
      brieflunchcounter RE: Chowpatty Feb 15, 2007 01:37 PM

      As Chica stated, there are some tables. A couple inside and two or three times as many outside.

      1. re: Chowpatty
        brieflunchcounter RE: Chowpatty Feb 15, 2007 01:52 PM

        Pat,

        I think they also serve other savory chaussons. They also have a number of interesting terrines, including rabbit and pistachio. They make their own preserves and marmalade, all for sale at the front of the shop, as well. Might be worth a trip for you.

      2. d
        Diana RE: brieflunchcounter Feb 15, 2007 10:10 AM

        I just can't wait to get my NPR reward for donating gift certificate to there and use it!

        1. chica RE: brieflunchcounter Feb 15, 2007 10:12 AM

          I love Little Next Door, too. The sandwiches are delicious, as are the ready-made salads, too. Try the carrot salad, and beet salad sometime. Salmon mousse is very good, too! The teas are very refreshing. And, they sell Vosges chocolate bars.

          Yes, there are tables to sit at. :)

          1. Hershey Bomar RE: brieflunchcounter Feb 16, 2007 08:55 AM

            My, ah, slide show, but you can see the two seating choices; inside and out.

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/colinbro...

            1. ciaobella RE: brieflunchcounter Feb 19, 2007 09:48 AM

              I had a lovely Valentine's dinner this past Friday at LD. First, the menu:
              -appetizer pistachio goatcheese tart - delicious, creamy goatcheese in a perfect phyllo crust w/ browned onions atop persian cucumbers, red onions and mixed greens
              - 2 salads; bibb lettuce w/ blood oranges and avocado and mixed greends w/ goat cheese, walnuts and dill dressing
              - entrees; mustard encrusted rack of lamb and the ribeye with scaloped potatoes. Rack of lamb was tender with a fabulous broiled crust and the ribeye was cooked medium-rare (as ordered), juicy and flavorful
              -dessert: apple tartin w/ fresh whipped cream - simply wonderful!

              Our waiter attended us only to take orders, but the busboy (I'm sure there is a better title for him) was attentive and friendly. Yes, the tables are close together (I almost took off our neighbors table setting while squirming into my booth seat) but it was so romantic with the hanging lights and vine plants that I really didn't mind.

              1. melissalf04 RE: brieflunchcounter Apr 17, 2007 03:52 PM

                Am I the only one who experienced serious snoot here? The food was fantastic -- we ordered a grilled vegetable sandwich, beet salad, and quiche (very authentic) -- but the service was horrible! Half of our order never came in the hour we spent there, and the waiter was completely inattentive -- I would had dismissed it as the result of short-staffing, but he was all over himself for his "regulars." In the future, I will plan to order out, as brieflunchcounter did -- there is no reason to sully such fabulous food with a negative service experience.

                11 Replies
                1. re: melissalf04
                  liu RE: melissalf04 Apr 17, 2007 04:00 PM

                  Oooh, I am sorry to hear about your experience with such lazy service. We walked through this past weekend and the place was bustling with activity, chatter and energy; everything in the cases looked really delicious. However...

                  I hope your less-than-glowing service report is an isolated experience.

                  1. re: liu
                    melissalf04 RE: liu Apr 17, 2007 04:08 PM

                    So do I, liu! I was so disappointed, as I'd heard such great things! To be fair, the food was awesome, and they served a great latte. Has anyone else noticed how hard it is to find a non-bitter latte in L.A.?

                    1. re: melissalf04
                      Chowpatty RE: melissalf04 Apr 17, 2007 04:16 PM

                      I love this place and I actually find the service friendlier than I would have expected given the Eurotrash pedigree.
                      A little pricey but it's not like there's any place else like it that's cheaper -- maybe Cafe Angelique, but I haven't been there since the ownership change.

                      1. re: Chowpatty
                        rachaels RE: Chowpatty Apr 20, 2007 11:12 AM

                        What do you mean by Eurotrash pedigree? Just curious.

                        1. re: rachaels
                          Chowpatty RE: rachaels Apr 20, 2007 11:29 AM

                          Well, this isn't about the food per se, so it doesn't really belong here, but I'm referring to a certain set of somewhat young, somewhat fashionable ex-pats, often French, who hang out at the Little Door and used to frequent the old Les Deux Cafes -- they're called Eurotrash because of their sometimes louche lifestyles involving nightclubs, a certain amount of drugs, employment that tends to run to actors/hairdressers/makeup artists, etc. -- you get the picture.
                          http://www.urbandictionary.com/define...

                          1. re: Chowpatty
                            rachaels RE: Chowpatty Apr 20, 2007 01:43 PM

                            ahhhh. gotcha.

                          2. re: rachaels
                            b
                            Bite Me RE: rachaels Jul 14, 2007 05:05 PM

                            I believe that it has a derogatory connotation to it--IMHO.

                            1. re: Bite Me
                              PseudoNerd RE: Bite Me Jul 15, 2007 11:30 AM

                              Well, one *is* referring to someone as trash, so...yeah.

                        2. re: melissalf04
                          h
                          hazelnutty RE: melissalf04 Apr 17, 2007 04:28 PM

                          has anyone noticed how hard it is to get a good cup of coffee period

                          1. re: hazelnutty
                            melissalf04 RE: hazelnutty Apr 17, 2007 04:33 PM

                            closest i've found so far is Literati Cafe at Wilshire and Bundy, but their results can be variable depending on who is working the machines. I usually stick to espresso drinks, though, so can't vouch for their coffee.

                            1. re: melissalf04
                              h
                              hazelnutty RE: melissalf04 Apr 17, 2007 05:01 PM

                              Thanks, but I'm more of a tea drinker. I don't bother with coffee in this town whether espresso or regular. I'll occasionally get a sample at whole foods... besides if I drink to much I get a headache.

                    2. h
                      hazelnutty RE: brieflunchcounter Apr 17, 2007 04:32 PM

                      The food is good, I like Little Next Door except for one thing which REALLY bothers me and kinda of prevents me from going there....the cups, plates etc., they bought them at some swap meet and they look old and used...I wish they would get some brand new plates, saucers, cups--it really bothers me!! However the food is very good as was the service.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hazelnutty
                        rachaels RE: hazelnutty Apr 20, 2007 11:16 AM

                        Oh i like that! I mean, once you clean a plate the plate is clean. It reminds me of the little tea rooms in Ohio. Mis-match dishes and the like. I guess i get tired of the plain white restaurant dishes. Ew, plus. Some of those restaurant supply strores-dirty, dirty, dirty. Not Surfas-surfas is clean as a whistle. But Charlies-ugh, don't get me started. I feel like I need a shot before I go in there.

                      2. gomagoma RE: brieflunchcounter Apr 20, 2007 11:32 AM

                        I stopped by briefly just to see what they serve there, but haven't had a chance to sit down and taste yet. If it doesn't rain this weekend, I'd like to give it a try! I love cheese and pate samplers. For the macarons, were those the only three kinds they had made? Or do they have others (caramel, espresso, rasberry, etc.)? Macarons are one of my favorite treats and I've tried almost all the ones I could find in LA but would love to try more!!! During my last trip to Paris in October, my last day was spent going from one place to another trying nothing but macarons and dessert :)

                         
                        1. s
                          smonkey RE: brieflunchcounter Apr 20, 2007 12:34 PM

                          I've been to LND once for Sunday breakfast and we had great service and very good food. The waitress who took our order behind the counter was extremely patient with us - we asked about nearly everything in the case. My friend has severe dairy allergies, and she was very helpful walking him through his safe options on the menu. We probably spent 10 minutes talking with her before we finally placed our orders. When the food arrived my friends dishes came but mine did not - the person who delivered it noted the problem, told the waitress, and she came by with a chocolate croissant for me and apologized for her mistake in placing the order. I was happy - I had been eyeing the croissants and it was a perfect dessert-first to my indulgant meal. Overall, we were charmed by the food, the atmsophere, and the service. I've been planning to go back but I have a hard time leaving my neighborhood (Los Feliz/SL) for breakfast.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: smonkey
                            melissalf04 RE: smonkey Apr 23, 2007 04:05 PM

                            I am so glad to hear that mine was a fluke experience -- looking forward to going back for round 2. :) Thanks for your responses!

                          2. b
                            Bite Me RE: brieflunchcounter Jul 14, 2007 04:58 PM

                            We tried it last week for a late lunch. One time there was enough. I ordered a rare roast beef sandwhich. I confirmed it would be rare. There was not even a hint of pink but that didn't really matter beccause there was so little of it.... It would have been delicious if prepare properly and if there were more than an ounce of it. My husband had a sandwhich of shredded chicken (dark meat) and curry. Better than the 2 strips of roast beef. Coffee was delicious. We did not have dessert. Service was fine. Overall, just no big deal.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Bite Me
                              rachaels RE: Bite Me Jul 25, 2007 12:32 PM

                              I think you should give it anouther whirl. Buy a hand made jam (the chef makes his own pectin from Apple Seeds) and try the quiche.

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