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Brentwood Restaurant & Lounge

Ali B Jul 26, 2007 07:28 AM

Does anyone have any experience, good or bad, with Brentwood Restaurant & Lounge (located at 148 S. Barrington Ave in Brentwood)? We are moving to the neighborhood and looking for a laid-back spot for comfort food with good beer, wine, and drinks... (and possibly an ambiance to compliment). How is the food, or is there anywhere else better in the area that you all would suggest?

Thanks!

  1. Servorg Jul 26, 2007 07:35 AM

    Too dark, too mediocre, too overpriced.

    1. n
      nosh Jul 26, 2007 10:05 AM

      There may be those who disagree, but for an inexpensive meal with wine right in that area I would try San Gennaro's. Certainly their Italian fare is nothing cutting edge, but they have a very extensive menu with salads, pastas, mains, sandwiches, and pizzas. (There also is often a 2-for-1 coupon in the back pages of the L.A. Times or some of the coupon mailings.) For years they advertised a $10/bottle wine list. It is definitely not high-end, but very pleasant and may be what you are looking for right there. Even if you end up unimpressed, you won't feel ripped off.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nosh
        jcwla Jul 26, 2007 10:52 AM

        Riunite on ice, Riunite so nice...Riunite!

      2. y
        yogachik Jul 26, 2007 11:19 AM

        I love Brentwood, it's an old standby. I always have a great meal there.

        I should add that Brentwood is filled with great places, San Vicente Blvd.has about 8 fantastic restaurants, from Vincenti to Toscana to Katsuya to Osteria Latini. And there's Literati, and also Santa Monica is right there, with more great restaurants.

        1. Emme Jul 26, 2007 12:32 PM

          So loud when the music is playing. Feels very stilted to me, like the place you take your mistress when you don't want to get caught. Food is uninspired and service is apathetic.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Emme
            w
            whatsfordinner Jul 26, 2007 12:34 PM

            Exactly!!

          2. d
            donnival Jul 26, 2007 12:47 PM

            I think Bandera might fit the bill in terms of what I'm interpreting from your needs ... the one bad thing is that it doesn't take reservations.

            But it does hit on all of your points (laid-back-ish, comfort/classic food, great drinks and an ambiance that skews slightly older but is still great).

            My perennial standby, Nook, is a little farther south but if you still consider it part of your "neighborhood" I'd get yourselves over there pronto! It's basically exactly what you need.

            http://dimelife.blogspot.com

            -----
            Nook Bistro
            11628 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 9, Los Angeles, CA 90025

            Bandera
            11704 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

            8 Replies
            1. re: donnival
              m
              maudies5 Jul 26, 2007 05:33 PM

              The Brentwood is perfect if you want to spend $120.00 + for a couple of martinis, and a couple of burgers . The fries are good and come with the $18.00 burger. They used to have a great maitre'd . Alas, he's gone and everything has gone downhill (except the prices) since his departure. The current staff is woefully inept and the prices now border on the insane. I used to like the wines the former maitre'd recommended. No-one knows squat about wines there anymore. There are better choices in the neighborhood. I've given up on the Brentwood and I used to go there often. Now I go to Pizzicotto, Toscana, Osteria Latini or Houston's (if looking for a full bar).

              1. re: maudies5
                a
                AlabasterDisaster Jul 27, 2007 10:16 AM

                The maitre'd is gone, the big guy with the curly hair who used to choose all the music? (I think his name is David.) That sucks!

                1. re: AlabasterDisaster
                  barcelona Jul 27, 2007 10:35 AM

                  I like the place! Make sure you make reservations!

              2. re: donnival
                Debbie W Jul 27, 2007 06:17 PM

                Actually, I've made reservations at Bandera a couple of times, party of 5 each time. I think they take a limited number of reservations for each time slot. In fact I made a reservation there for Mother's Day this year.

                1. re: Debbie W
                  d
                  donnival Jul 27, 2007 06:27 PM

                  Ah, I didn't know that! Maybe they only take reservations for parties for five and larger? The last time I tried they said they had a no reservations policy ...

                  1. re: donnival
                    b
                    Bria Silbert Jul 28, 2007 10:33 PM

                    Emme, each time I've eaten at the Brentwood, I had a vague sense that something was different about it and you phrased it exactly - a place to take a secret mistress. Most of the tables did seem to be made up of that demographic. I also agree that David was largely responsible for the personal touch that the restaurant possessed. Sorry to hear he's gone.

                    1. re: Bria Silbert
                      Emme Jul 28, 2007 10:57 PM

                      It has an inherently seedy feel; I've always attributed it to the lighting and the way the booths and tables are set up, as well as the partitions to the space. It feels like the one restaurant along the highway next to the one motel off of that interstate in the middle of nowhere, but with big city prices.

                      Last time I was there, they screwed up a baked potato. I asked for the potato dry with the toppings on the side... The potato came charred (not just crisped) on the outside, and I kid you not, raw at the center. Then, the waiter had the nerve to tell me that that's what happens when you "change the preparation of the dish" by ordering items on the side. I looked back at him dumbfounded, and though there were many other choice phrases that my brain was sending down to my lips as possible responses, I elected simply to say, "Well perhaps I'll give it a shot and let the kitchen try again." He shrugged back at me, "Well just be forewarned that it may come back just the same." I was tempted to just have them take the 6 dollar tuber off the bill, but it came out uniformly mealy and at least somewhat edible, so I just cut my losses.

                      1. re: Emme
                        b
                        Bria Silbert Jul 30, 2007 01:32 PM

                        Oh, I'm so glad you reminded me of West - we ate there once last year and thought it was an excellent value and enjoyed every dish the four of us had. Good suggestion.....

              3. Fresser Jul 29, 2007 04:14 PM

                Used to enjoy Brentwood for drinks. Had a pretty good meal last time before David left, not cheap though. I'd head over to West at the Hotel Angelino. Great view, good drinks & appetizers and have had a couple good meals there.

                1. Ali B Jul 31, 2007 04:57 PM

                  Thanks everyone! I am excited to start trying some new places...

                  1. Ali B Aug 8, 2007 03:11 PM

                    How does Bandera compare to Houston's? They are both owned by Hillstone Restaurant Group, right?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Ali B
                      w
                      Wolfgang Aug 8, 2007 03:29 PM

                      I had drinks at Brentwood last weekend. They have Anchor Steam and Pilsner Urquell on tap, which is a nice 1-2. The tap glasses seem to be about 10 ounces.
                      The cocktails are poured into pretty big glasses and are $8 or $9 for a well drink.

                      I don't mind the place for a nightcap before going home or if you lived close enough to walk there, but it didn't win me over with either atmosphere or value.

                      1. re: Ali B
                        paulfromla Oct 31, 2007 11:24 PM

                        i think houston's is better than bandera - bandera is just a block from where i live and i've tried it twice, been disappointed both times - food's just not good enough - it's a place for drinks and that's it

                        1. re: paulfromla
                          Ali B Jan 11, 2008 01:35 PM

                          So, I went to Bandera and I was disappointed because they don't have the delicious house-made veggie burger that they have at Houston's. Other than that, they are pretty much the same restaurant... maybe the menu is a little different, but same idea and same kind of unexciting-but-always-dependable food.

                          1. re: Ali B
                            paulfromla Jan 11, 2008 09:51 PM

                            have you tried brentwood restaurant yet? i am curious about it but never had the chance to try, especially since it has a reputation for being overpriced

                            1. re: paulfromla
                              m
                              maudies5 Jan 11, 2008 10:29 PM

                              Overpriced, indeed, for underwhelming food. Sadly, this is one restaurant where the Maitre'ds made the difference. David was amazing, Billy who followed David was good, but didn't have David's incredible knowledge of wine. The greatest thing about The Brentwood was the service starting with who was the guy steering the ship. Now,, there is a kid named Max
                              who is clueless and running the show.He is alienating everyone; big-time attitude.including regulars and newbies. This restaurant has been going south for about a year. Not even fun, anymore and the celebs have also bailed,so no longer any great star-spotting. Too bad. .

                              1. re: paulfromla
                                Ali B Feb 19, 2008 03:58 PM

                                Since the original post, I have been to Brentwood twice: once for drinks with a friend and once for a business dinner. One thing noteworthy is that the place is very dark. When we sat down to the table for dinner, everyone commented on how dark it was, and then about ten minutes later, they turned the lights even DARKER. I think it is the vibe they are going for though…. Maybe some undercover people go there who don’t want to be noticed.

                                Also of note, drinks with a friend came to about $90 for 2 drinks each, and 1 appetizer each (incl. tax and tip). The wine by the glass was pretty good.... as for the appetizers, I got a salad that was nothing memorable, and certainly nothing fancy (I think it was a frisee salad). The most memorable thing about the endeavor was the price tag for practically nothing, although my friend who was with me said she spotted a few Hollywood producer/director bigwigs, which I wouldn’t have recognized anyway.

                                As for time number 2, I was excited to give the menu another chance since my company was paying, so I didn't pay attention to prices.

                                I ordered the Brentwood chopped salad, which was pretty good, but nothing amazing. I also tasted one of the apps which were ordered for the table: a beet salad, which was good – better than the Brentwood chopped. For my main I had the chickenburger with fries – which I was really in the mood for for some reason. It was pretty much inedible — made of ground chicken meat, very dry with no flavor. I also tasted some steak, which was also flavorless. The fries were pretty good though.

                                Overall, I probably would not choose to go back unless I am one day in the mood for an expensive salad, fries, and a glass of wine in a very dark place.

                                1. re: Ali B
                                  Servorg Feb 19, 2008 04:04 PM

                                  Thanks for a thoughtful follow review to your original post. My, (slightly rearranged) response to your OP stands. Too MOD.

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