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Lou's on Vine -- Reports?

k
kablamo Apr 3, 2007 02:10 PM

I've heard that this place is great, especially for food/wine parings. Any thoughts?

  1. Tom P Jun 10, 2009 01:55 PM

    I ate there about a month ago... it was terrific:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/622316

    Give it a try, I can't wait to go back.

    1. g
      genjenn Jun 10, 2009 09:52 AM

      Heard great things and was very eager to check it out. Planned to have an early dinner there with friends after a wine tasting event near by. We arrived about 10 minutes before they opened, although the front door was unlocked. No one else was waiting to get in, although there was an unfortunate and evidently homeless man in a wheelchair sitting out front. I poked my head into the retaurant and (very nicely) asked how long it would be until they would seat us. The hostess' replied with such bold hostiltiy I wasn't sure she was speaking (barking) to me. I actually looked behind me to see if someone had followed me in.
      My friends really wanted to eat there, so I gave the hostess a pass. We chose to wait in the car since our only other options were to browse the laundramat next door to Lou, check out the car seat cover for sale in the parking lot next door or buy groceries at the Pavillions across the street.
      After 15 minutes passed, I went back to make sure they were ready for us. This time, the hostess YELLED (no exaggeration) that she was running behind, NO we CAN NOT come in, NOT EVEN TO JUST SIT AT A TABLE UNTIL THEY WERE READY!!! NO!

      One might expect this kind of behavior at, say, the DMV or county jail. Here, however, it was absolutely outrageous. F

      1. e
        ecaitlin Dec 29, 2007 09:05 PM

        After a lovely early meal at Canele in Atwater tonight, we stopped on the way back to West Hollywood at Lou's for an after dinner adventure. The place was packed at 8:30, but there were two spots at the bar, which was perfect for us. Lou was manning the bar. He was amazingly knowledgeable about the wines he had, and they offer $4-$5 tasting amounts (2 oz, approximately). I tried their sparkling pinot (Crement rose) which Lou said was good to just guzzle alone. It was very tasty, and I agreed, that second only to Moet rose for guzzling alone, it was perfectly refreshing.

        We ordered Pig Candy, which is just bacon with sugar, and some garlic toast.

        My tasting of Lou's "Oddball Red" was spicy (I call this "dirty") rioja ijal, and it was the perfect accompaniment to both the smoky sugary bacon, and the very garlicky bread-toast (LA Brea sourdough type bread, but the garlic and olive oil seemed baked in, and it was only lightly toasted...perfect for my taste)

        He challenged me to try his oddball whites..one was wretched (don't have the name, but he gave it to me free), the other (Perichetta Masa) was as spicy and complex as the red, but white. Not sure what it would go best with, but it was by far the most interesting white I have ever had.

        We tried a Muscat which Lou said needs to go with first spring white asparagus...I imaged that and could imagine it deliciously. Lou said he might try to do a white asparagus dish in the spring.

        A great time was had by all, and we will definitely be back.

        p.s. the place is hard to see from the street. We drove past it twice and then had to call for further directions. It looks like absolutely nothing from the outside, but I found it very charming inside.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ecaitlin
          aidam. Jan 4, 2008 09:10 AM

          Went just last week for dessert and really enjoyed it. I was intrigued by the short yet intriguing wine list and had the pleasure of having Lou walk us through the wines. My chocolate craving was perfectly satisfied by a chocolate pot de creme, which paired great with the Banulys I ordered. All in all I was happy and would go back for a full dinner.

          It's true that the location is lacking (it's in a tired strip mall), but the atmosphere inside largely makes up for it.

          1. re: aidam.
            aidam. Jan 4, 2008 09:11 AM

            Here are the deets, btw:

            -----
            Lou on Vine
            724 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038

        2. e
          ers258 May 7, 2007 07:15 PM

          The food has gone downhill. And while the service is nice, they really do not know much about the food or the wine, so, forget about having someone give you any insights on pairings.
          While the owner (Lou) was attentive to the place at its outset, it seems now as if it is running on autopilot and they have settled for mediocrity at best.

          1. therealbigtasty Apr 9, 2007 02:36 AM

            Lou rules.

            It really does.

            1. Suebee Apr 4, 2007 09:19 PM

              We absolutely love Lou! What can I say, the small plates rock, the wine list is creative and inspired, and the staff could not be nicer. And it's just a cozy and intimate little space. Go and try it for yourself, though try to go earlier as they don't take reservations and they tend to fill up around 8.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Suebee
                c
                cookgirl Apr 5, 2007 03:32 AM

                What were some of the stand-out dishes? I went once, maybe a year ago and wasn't taken with the place. The pig candy was good. Salads sounded good but were underseasoned. I just really couldn't get over the tacky interior. Has it gotten better, overall?

                1. re: cookgirl
                  Suebee Apr 8, 2007 09:11 AM

                  Let's see, I think last time we went to Lou was about a month ago. We had a simple frisee salad with warm goat cheese croutons, potato leek soup with crispy pancetta, smoked duck crostini with cheddar, and hangar steak with greens. Lou prepares its dishes very simply so nothing is over the top. The combinations of flavors and textures always seem just right and very satisfying. And, as I previously mentioned, all of the other components are pretty close to perfect - staff, wines, atmosphere, even just the size of the place..

                  As for the decor that you think is tacky, I guess it just boils down to differing tastes. We think Lou is sexy and mellow, with its dim and reddish hue and tiny size. If you can get past your distaste of the decor, I'd suggest giving it another try.

              2. f
                fermentedthings Apr 4, 2007 04:41 PM

                I had a really wonderful meal there a few months ago--inexpensive food, really well-thought out wine pairings, loved the cheeses. Service was nice too. The only complaint I had--the doorway was completely blocked by a passed-out local personality of some sort or other.

                1. meganinlosfeliz Apr 3, 2007 03:46 PM

                  I went a few months ago. Cool place, but all of the food we had was just average, except for the pig candy. That was pretty interesting--and tasty. We weren't guided at all in terms of pairings, and I was not crazy about any of the wines we had. All in all, we were disappointed.

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