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HELP! Thoughts on CAFE STELLA (Silverlake)?

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to get your thoughts on Cafe Stella. Overall I've heard good things about it. I like the fact that it's OUTDOORS, but still manages to have good food without just relying on a VIBE.

My question is: Does everyone smoke there? If I'm a non-smoker, will the amount of smoke bother me? I have to say that I am sensitive if there's A LOT of smoke around me when I'm eating.

I'm trying to decide between Stella and Carlitos Gardel, a place I love. Carlitos is indoors, but has a lot of strong points otherwise.


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  1. There's an indoor portion to Cafe Stella, but I honestly can't remember people smoking there anyway.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Liquid Sky

        Hey Liquid,
        Don't know if you went already or not, but I was gone for the weekend. Anyway, I'm not a big fan of going to Silverlake in general, even though I live pretty close by. I wouldn't say that I'm a fan, but I don't mind going there from time to time. At times, service has been rather slow, but everything I've tried there has been from good to pretty good. Try the moules frites if you're a fan of mussels.

    1. Carlitos Gardel all the way! cafe stella is overpriced and medicore for the cost. people do smoke outside and if smoke really bothers you i do not suggest it. the tables are very close and depending on where you sit it may be unavoidable. i went with two friends who are chain smokers and they smoked the whole time.

      on the contrary to what you mention i think they do rely on a vibe and on cute decor versus relying on good food for a decent price. the food isn't bad just not worth what they charge.

      1. I think Cafe Stella is overpriced and undergood. I like the atmosphere, but that's about it. It's frustrating, I want it to be good since I live near it, but it just plain ain't.

        1 Reply
        1. re: estone888

          I really really like Carlitos Gardel and Max really really knows his wine!! IMHO Best steakhouse in the city.. and love those garlic fries.. As to Cafe Stella, yes the outside patio has always been smokey when I was there ( 3 times or so ) the second room is cozy.. (not the main room with the bar) Two different types of food to compare. I like the Stella for the enviorment and Carlitos for the food..

          Carlitos Gardel
          7963 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046

        2. I haven't been to Carlitos Gardel, but recently went to Cafe Stella for steak frites (around $35 if I recall) and enjoyed it. Yes, it is expensive but food was tasty and it felt very French. If you can snag a seat at the bar, the burger (bar only) is a better deal

          3 Replies
          1. re: Ernie

            Thanks to you all! I was leaning towards Cafe Stella because I was looking for a place that had nice outdoor seating AND good food. Was hoping that was not too much to ask for...

            1. re: Liquid Sky

              I love Cafe Stella. If you ask to sit off to the side outside, you can avoid smoke if there is any (I go pretty often, and it varies).

          2. Ask to sit on the open patio part - tables are further apart & the smoke doesn't get concentrated under a roof.

            1 Reply
            1. I used to love Cafe Stella. Their prices have steadily increased, their kitchen went through a few changes by way of staff and its not as good as it used to be. Their was awhile when the chalkboard specials were truly amazing, blowing away the standard bistro fair. While the food is good, for the prices, I would rather eat at Lucques. For cheaper bistro food I would go to Cafe des Artiste, Pastis, or Le Petit Bistro but neither have the great patio that Stella has. Like most things in town, prices have gone up but the product has not always matched that increase.

              5 Replies
              1. re: blackbookali

                Lucqes has a nice outdoor patio, right?

                1. re: Liquid Sky

                  Cafe des Artistes has a lovely, lovely patio, IMHO prettier and less crowded than Lucques. Food won't be as good as Lucques but it is less expensive.

                    1. re: poggibonzzi

                      Not Lucques, but not at all shabby either. I've always had a good meal at Cafe des Artistes.

                      1. re: rednyellow

                        Cafe des Artistes has a great steak frites, its a hangar, served rare, rubbed in sea salt and olive oil, excellent.

                2. They most certainly tolerate smokers on the patio. One man who blazed up with my ill mother sitting next to me became abusive when I asked that he refrain. Needless to say I will not eat there again. No need to mention I tire of these people who feel a sense of entitlement to abuse the rest of us with their filthy habit not to mention angry disposition. Just a matter of time and either they die off or the law takes care of them.

                  1. It's a good place overall. It strikes me as quite French in a number of ways, some of which people are mentioning in this thread. I've eaten plenty of food there that is every bit as good as if not better than Anisette in Santa Monica, which seems more highly regarded on this board.