Local in Silver Lake
Local is a new low key cafe serving eclectic dishes using locally sourced ingredients. As Zagat and Eater LA first reported a few months ago, owner Jason Michaud, who's put in kitchen time at Cobras and Matadors and Three Drunken Goats, has turned the Eastside Mercantile shop on Sunset into his vision of a casual restaurant.
Fast forward to today and Local, which is little more than a week old and is already drawing crowds. We were there on its first weekend and were told that the morning rush had lines out the door. It was great to hear.
The interior of the restaurant is really basic. It still looks like they are building out a little. Most of the public space is taken up by a refrigerator case, which is filled primarily with GT's Kombucha, and a salad bar with some interesting items and a few delicious looking dressings (although we didn't try anything). There was only one table inside with the rest of the seating placed either on the front sidewalk or the side patio. It was a beautiful day, so that wasn't an immediate issue. Everybody wanted to be outside.
You order at the counter and are given a number and told to find a seat. Admittedly, I forgot to look at the breakfast menu so I can't comment on it. For lunch, the restaurant has a limited but interesting set of options. Although it sounds like the menu could change seasonally, it will always have a couple soups and a number of hot sandwich options, as well as the salad bar and an organic mac & cheese. For now, there is a turkey burger, which is something we ordered, a quinoa burger and a pork burger (maybe a head to head taste off with Woodspoon's pork burger is in order). We also ordered the Sloppy Joe.
Interestingly enough, they don't have a burger. Pat over at Eating LA noted that "Michaud is so about the local that he's not even offering a beef hamburger, because he couldn't find any California-raised beef he liked." I wonder if he tried Prather Ranch?
One of the unique aspects I enjoyed right of the bat was the make your own Arnold Palmer station. That really isn't what it is intended to be, but the serve yourself nature of the ice tea and lemonade dispensers allow you to fix your preferred ratio of tea to lemonade, which was nice and tart.
The sloppy joe was made with slow roasted heritage pork that looked like it had been hand pulled and tossed with barbecue sauce. It was served with caramelized onions and a good amount of cotija cheese. It was pretty sloppy. The roll held out until the very end, when it finally gave way. The barbecue sauce was a little sweet for me and the sandwich seemed more like a standard pulled pork than a sloppy joe. But, that isn't me complaining. It was still tasty and I really liked the use of the cotija.
The turkey burger, made with Diestel turkey, topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado and jack cheese and served with fresh cut fries on the side, was delicious. It was pressed pretty thin, but still very juicy with a nice crust. On the side was a little cup of a house made "mojo picon." Mojo picon is a Spanish sauce traditionally made with spicy red chiles, garlic, paprika and olive oil. It was a perfect dipping sauce for the fries. Let's simply say that we licked the little bowl clean and asked for more.
Given that the place is only a week old, Local is doing pretty well. I think they are still working out some of the the service issues. They also seemed a little overwhelmed at times, but the food that we tasted wasn't really suffering. Michaud and company are serving fresh, local, mostly organic food on a stretch of Sunset that doesn't have many equivalent options. I will certainly be going back.
For photos of the visit, check here: http://nochoiceatall.blogspot.com/200...
2943 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
I stopped by on Saturday and sad to say was disappointed. I ordered the pulled pork sloppy joe and maybe it was just my particular sandwich but most of my meat was full of fat. Couldn't eat it. The flavor was good though albeit on the sweet side. If I am around the neighborhood again, I might try it again but wouldn't go out of my way to stop there.
That is too bad to hear. The pork in the sandwich we were served wasn't fatty at all. It was pretty decent pork. Unfortunately, your experience shows that the kitchen may still be working out the kinks. I have made a number of pull pork sandwiches at home and it isn't that hard to pick out the fat that hasn't rendered.
Tried Local for breakfast yesterday (Sunday). I'm seriously bummed. We were very excited to try this place, and it was about half-full when we arrived so we were hopeful. One look at the menu and I became a bit skeptical. First of all, they don't have a very well-written menu. For chilaquiles, and two other Mexican-inspired dishes, the descriptions are exactly the same. A bit confusing if you are not already familiar with the Spanish names of these dishes (sorry, can't remember the other two). The prices seemed relatively high as well, especially for a place that takes counter orders.
I ordered the chilaquiles, egg whites only, and a decaf coffee. It came to just under $18.00. The chilaquiles were OK...the chips were soggy and it took a lot of Tapatio and salt to give it any flavor. The avocado that came with it was hard; I could barely cut it with my fork. The black beans on the side were good, but the only redeeming item on the plate. My sister ordered a custom omelete with egg-whites only, caramelized onions and roasted red peppers. What came on the plate was a pile of caramelized onions and roasted red peppers. There was nothing on the plate that even resembled an omelete, and what little eggwhites were in the mixture was RAW. We're talking slimey here. The potatoes on the side and the toast were fine. Nothing special. And she paid just under $20 for her breakfast, including coffee.
The coffee was excellent, but for $3, it should be. The customers have to work a bit as well; there is one coffee condiment table, so everyone is in line vying for the sugar and creamer and stuff that should be on each table. If you want salt, pepper or hot sauce, you have to go to another table to get it, as there are only two of each for the whole place. While I am totally fine workin' for my food if it's cheap, at these prices, I expect more.
Definitely will not be going back.