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Sep 28, 2008 09:52 AM

Upstairs 2, Really?

I finally tried Upstairs 2 last night was completley underwhelmed. It's no surpirse that they had a wonderful wine list complete with flights of wine which is so so fun (especially for a light drinker like me) however the food was mediocre at best. We ordered a lobster BLT, heirloom tomato napoleon w/mascarpone, dates wrapped in ham, scallops over spaghetti squash, short ribs & chocolate torte. The bread on the BLT was so soggy from the tomato it was just gross & honestly the lobster had no flavor. The heirloom tomato napoleon was simply sliced heirlooms with thinned mascarpone drizzled over them & topped with a bit of frisee. It was totally boring & poorly executed. I don't get it when chefs have all these yummy ingredients & can't put them together well?! I salted everything which i almost never do. I didn't notice when i read the menu that the scallops were bay scallops which are not my favorite but when they are done right they are yummy. These were overcooked & again, boring! Where was the garlic, butter, herbs and/or wine in the food I wondered. The shortribs were fine but not spectacular. The highlight of the meal was the flourless chocolate torte which was very tasty but i did notice that the presentation was uninspired with just a bit of whip cream dropped on top of the cake. Again the wines were great (billencart salmon & an austrian reisling) but that's not really enough to make me recommend this place or return.

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  1. The key question is

    "Why is this Knight different from all Knights?"

    And I'm not talking Passover Seder here, but the generational change at The Wine House.

    This Knight (a.k.a. Jim ) has a big $$$ sign in front of his eyes, which kind of obliterates any other concerns.

    4 Replies
      1. re: RicRios

        Really one of the major reasons I stopped shopping there. Way too many other good wine shops throughout the area, some much more price competitive as well.

        1. re: RicRios

          Very interesting take on what has "become" of the Wine House, and why. I used to store my wine there and shop there exclusively, buy my Bordeaux futures there, etc. Not so much anymore.
          I remember this place when it was literally no bigger than a walk in closet, the wine displays were the boxes the wine shipped in, and Christian Navarro was a stockboy. One by one, all the players have moved on, and only Jim Knight is left. I miss the knowledgable advice of Chris Sandin, Frank Perez and others and wonder what became of them. Christian of course, is now wine seller to the stars from Wallys, yes?

          1. re: NAspy

            ... and James Jobsky, and Chip Hammack, and ...

        2. It's been at least a year since I've been but I was enjoying the place immensely in 2006ish. Agreed, the food is not spectacular, but for me the wine list and the wine vibe and the acceptableness of the food and the reasonable prices for the food and the often superb prices for wine and the general under-the-radar-ness of the whole joint made it a great place to frequent. And you can bring any wine "upstairs" (from the Wine House) and drink it for a ten dollar fee. That's a cool little schtick (I think same policy as the Wine Cask in SB) But it's got to be wine first, food second. Like when in 1990 my buddy and I used to drink the "81 Bordeauxs with Ess-a-bagels and avocado -- brilliant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: la tache burger

            Same principle applies at Palate in Glendale if you ever get over to the east side, with realllllly good food, and and equally good and diversified selection of well-priced wines that you might not even think to buy, yet after tasting them, you wonder why not.