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Sep 19, 2007 12:44 PM

Off Vine, have I made a disastrous mistake?

I am taking friends who were recently married to dinner here on the recommendation of someone who went recently and loved her experience. Now, having read the boards, I am worried that I made a huge mistake. Dinner is tomorrow and I'd have to make a quick change of plans. What's a girl to do??? Dinner at Off Vine and hope for a miracle or take a stab at something else? Help!

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  1. I've been to Off Vine a few times - mostly lunch but dinner as well. The food is okay and the wine list isn't very interesting. The two things Off Vine has going for it: a quaint/charming space and a pretty decent Grand Marnier Souffle. I wouldn't go out of my way to dine at Off Vine. Have you tried Table 8 or Opus?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Mark424

      I have just learned that the bride has been there before and would like to go somewhere else. I've always wanted to try Table 8, so maybe I will give that a go instead.

      1. re: schmamo

        I love Table 8 ... I work close by and stop in for drinks and the occasional dinner. Sigh ... to have a bigger bank account and a faster metabolism! Anyway, where ever you take them, I'm sure your friends will appreciate your gesture! Post your dinner experience to let us know how it turned out!

        1. re: schmamo

          I'm a big fan of Table 8. Virtually everything he does is excellent. There are some things on the lounge menu that should not be missed. So ask your server if you can look at that too. Particularly the Short Rib Grilled Cheese and the Lobster Roll. And I know they're everywhere these days but, his Kobe Slider is by far the best I've had.

          1. re: wutzizname

            What kind of lobster roll is it? Like a springroll or a sandwich?

            1. re: hrhboo

              Sandwich. Slightly updated take on the New England classic. But smaller than maybe order two.

      2. There's no way to predict how your meal will be, but I've never had any serious problems in the 20 or so dinners I've had there. I have had some unresolved issues at two of the dozens of lunches there, though.

        As Mark424 mentioned, it's a nice space, and the souffles are quite good (I like the chocolate souffle best).

        You probably won't be blown away, but I don't think you've made a disasterous mistake, either. It's a nice place with decent food at a reasonable price.

        1. My girlfriend and I had a very nice dinner there a few months back. I wasn't blown away by the food but the service was good, the space is very pleasant, and I'm sure you'll all have a nice experience.

          1. I just had a great dinner at Joseph's Cafe last Saturday - very surprising, considering that it used to be a hot-spot nightclub for the celebutant set. We were there on the early side (6:30pm), so it was practically empty, so we could all hear one another speak, and the service and food were fantastic, and the booths indoors are very cozy, but they do also have a nice courtyard area as well. Great lentil bean soup, gyro platter, my boyfriend had the moussaka (it's a mostly Mediterranean menu)... everything was fantastic. I suggest it since you mentioned Off Vine, and Joseph's is very close by - it is just one block west of Vine, at Yucca & Ivar.

            1. It appears we will be headed to The Foundry per the bride's request (she wants to go somewhere she has not tried yet). Other suggestions thrown out were summarily dismissed by either she or my boyfriend. I never imagined planning a simple dinner for 4 would get so complicated! Hopefully the food at The Foundry is worth my efforts, though I am slightly bummed that I will have to wait yet again to check out Table 8. I'll let you know how our meal turns out, and thanks for all of the advice! :-)

              3 Replies
              1. re: schmamo

                Word on the street is you won't be disappointed. Though it sounds like the quiet patio and live-music-filled dining room offer two totally different environments, so I'd reserve accordingly.

                1. re: wutzizname

                  To report back, we DEFINITELY were NOT disappointed, although it appears I will now be eating Top Ramen until payday! The menu is inventive and interesting, and though I have learned that it continually changes, I must highly recommend both duck dishes as well as the black cod entree. (Note: after reviewing the entire menu, I was sucked in by both the duck entree and appetizer. When I couldn't decide between them and ordered both, the waiter replied, "The chef is going to love you." I was happy to later inform him that I had not regretted my decision.) My boyfriend exclaimed that the beef short ribs (which he guarded as well as my dog guards his bones) were the best he had ever tasted. The bride enjoyed her skate wing, though of the three main courses I tried it was my least favorite, and my taste of her pork belly appetizer was delicious. The hostess gave us our pick of tables, and suggested a table in the center of the courtyard with a view of the fire. It was a lovely choice, and the music from the jazz ensemble playing inside was piped out to complete the mood. Finally, the desserts. I would consider our choices one hit, one miss. The apple fritters are divine and are served with three tasty dipping sauces, but the creme brulee is nothing to write home about. I guess it just takes a little more to impress me with a dish offered at 90 percent of the restaurants out there. All in all, an evening to remember at a place I will long to return to...perhaps after making my next rent payment.

                  1. re: schmamo

                    Sounds great. Do try to get to Table 8 soon though. It's not much cheaper, but you can economize somewhat by sitting in the lounge and ordering the small plates. Those are their best anyway.