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Jul 31, 2008 07:25 PM

Great Meal at New Sila Bistro in Silver Lake

A friend and I wandered into the recently-opened Sila Bistro in Silver Lake last night and felt like we hit the trifecta: interesting food, reasonable prices and a well-edited wine list with everything between $6- $9 per glass. The tables were even far enough apart so we could talk without sharing our conversation all around. Standouts: the cilantro Caesar salad (romaine hearts, shaved parmesan, grape tomatoes, avocado, cilanto Caesar dressing) for $8, the Sila tart (tomato, basil, arugula, meyer lemon, prosciutto on puff pastry) for $10 (it's an appetizer but plenty big for an entree), two small Snake River Kobe burgers with caramelized shallots, honey mustard and Maui onion rings for $15 and a pistachio gelato cake with one layer of devil's food cake and one layer of chocolate grenache for $8. (No , I didn't memorize the prices. I swiped the paper menu.) The Terre Rouge Syrah we had also was noteworthy. We liked the fact that it offered poached pear and macerated figs for dessert, as well as the richer fare. It's the sort of place where you can go as a single and eat at the bar and still be part of the dining room. Or, you can eat outside. The service was friendly and low key, and we both can't wait to return and try the other things on the menu that tempted us, such as the grilled chicken with wild mushroom bread pudding and the bouillabaisse. The seared sea scallops with butternut squash risotto sounded pretty terrific, too. It's at 2630 Hyperion Ave., sort of catycorner from Gelson's.

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  1. is the comfort cafe still around over there?

    1. I ordered from SiLa's Bank Bailout Budget Menu (5-7 p.m. weekdays, three-courses for $25) and was underwhelmed. Maybe I should have stuck to the regular menu? Perhaps it was an off night? The service is great and the selection of wines by the glass decent enough. The kitchen's ingredients , though, are mostly unimpressive, particularly for a restaurant that bills itself as "uniquely Californian."

      The house green salad has fresh greens, but is not as farmer's market fresh as it should be. Also, salmon is not this kitchen's forte - served medium-rare is more like luke-warm and raw in the middle than seared to perfection, and the cut is too thin. The skin is tough and not nearly as crispy as it should be. The couscous that accompanies the salmon is equally unimpressive - the presentation is messy (too small a portion of salmon for the amount of couscous) and the flavors do not go well together.

      The Bank Bailout Budget Menu is hardly a bargain in view of the quality of the kitchen's ingredients and presentation and certainly not for the price. The portions are also minuscule, making it even less so. Service is the best part, but the quality is simply not there.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Janine L

        Interesting report. A friend and I stopped in a couple weeks ago after drinks up the block. After looking at the menu a few times, nothing looked good or worth the money. We left. It was one of those rare times when absolutely nothing on the menu looked appetizing or worth the money. A truly uninspired menu.

        1. re: rednyellow

          I would have to agree with the people on here who are saying nothing on the menu is worth the money and it's very unimpressive, except for the some of the wines.but if u are going to eat here don't expect any wow factor.
          salads are o.k but then again it's hard to mess up a salad. As for the short rib taco for the price one is paying, u can get a whole lot better tacos at a taco truck.
          As for entrees and desserts : nothing unique or impressive about any of's not bad food. u are just paying too much for an o.k food.
          for the service:the only thing bistro here is by calling themselfs"bistro" the front of the house looks and feels like a neighborhood dive rather then a bistro. one would expect that at a bistro a waitstaff and any front of the house person to be polish, refine, well dress. Don't expect it at this so called "bistro" . u are going to be waited on by a casually dressed person who is confused and doesn't know anything about the menu or how to serve by bring me wrong drink. forgetting an order while the rest of my party got their food. i thought for so called bistro. It was just plain wrong

          1. re: 1demi

            Before this goes too much farther, let me point out that a Bistro is in fact a casual sort of establishment. A neighborhood joint, if you will, as opposed to a gussied-up excuse to charge a lot for a hamburger.

      2. Reopening this -- has anyone been recently? Though I live blocks away, haven't tried yet -- as another poster commented, nothing has grabbed me on the menu. And for the price-point, rather go to Blair's or Canele.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Silverlaker

          I'm curious about it as well. I also live nearby, and haven't tried it. But when I drive by, even on weekends, it seems pretty empty....which is never a good sign.

          1. re: perk

            I live nearby as well, and I have been maybe 3-4 times over the last year. At first it was really good, about a year ago. I had some perfectly cooked chicken, although I don't remember much more than that it was a really tasty well cooked meal. I was really hopeful, because I can walk there. There has been a decline in quality since last year, however, and in the last couple visits there has been an increasing air of desperation about the place. I really wanted it to succeed, but... lets just say "dead restaurant walking."

            1. re: LAchowman

              With Flying Leap Cafe, the half price sushi place, the former Comfort Cafe now called Fix, and most importantly Barbrix all on that same block of Hyperion, why go there when you have four options, all better at doing what they do, and not having that high a tab? They have the highest pricepoint, and the lowest value of any of the places.

            2. re: perk

              Which is why we haven't gone yet. But last weekend, it looked pretty busy so was curious.

              When the new management took over the Italian restaurant that was previously there, we went and they told us their specialty was fish so I ordered white-fish and it was not fresh. And I remember our meal was over $50 and it wasn't that good, esp on my end, so didn't make me want to try Sila which as I understand, is the same owners.

            3. re: Silverlaker

              I finally tried it but was deeply disappointed. Nothing was very interesting.

              One of the owners serves and I do not like to be served by people with facial / mouth / lip piercings.

              Then they overcharged on the wine. I don't see a reason to go back.