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Boneyard Bistro Strikes the Perfect Note Again

  • a213b Nov 13, 2008 10:18 AM
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This past Saturday my wife and I were taking it easy, making a cake when we realized we didn't know what we were going to do for dinner.

Earlier in the day I got some gas at a station across from In-N-Out, and those burgers were smelling mouth-wateringly delish, so we were thinking that ... until I one-upped that idea and mentioned BY.

As soon as we had our cakes on the cooling racks, we quickly walked around the corner and down the block to Boneyard. Thankfully, it was a bit earlier, as even at 6:30 they only had 2 tables not booked at which to seat a party of two. My wife gracefully allowed me to choose the indoor option so as to keep an eye on the USC game.

After getting our menus and drinks, it was time to decide ... what to get, what to get? We've been splitting meals lately in an effort to be a bit more health-conscious (in terms of portions), and this is certainly something one can do at BY (although they do have a $4 split charge, just FYI). We ended up deciding on two specials; a cup of their Slow-Cooked Chili with their Smoked Brisket to start ($9), and then for the main their Burger of the Moment ... a Cajun Burger ($22).

While we were waiting for the chili, our server brought out their bread tray, and BY's delectably tasty, sweet and oh-so-corny mini cornbreads. Dear god how I love these, as does my wife. Next time, I need to ask if they can just bring us a bowl of those, as we split them evenly and then jokingly argued over who got the crumbs. Mmmmmm, these are crispy, buttery coated sweet-corn AWESOMENESS!

Our chili arrived soon arrived, and like pretty much everything we have eaten at Boneyard, it was scrumptious. Hot, Hearty, and Heavenly ... especially when I would get bits of their brisket in one of my bites. The top was coated with melted cheddar cheese, which provided that perfect sharp complement to the smokey brisket flavor. We both ended up using some of the leftover bread to sop up the remains in the bowl. There was nothing fancy or posh about this; this was just a damn good bowl of chili.

Finally, the Cajun Burger. This thing was a MONSTER! Seriously, it must have been at least 8" tall!

It was their usual, thick, American Kobe beef patty seasoned with a cajun rub and spices. Then, it was topped with a good cheddar and some applewood smoked bacon, which was in turn topped with a cajun coleslaw. Finally, everything was doused with a healthy dose of one of the Louisiana hot sauces (not Tabasco, but we have so many I can't keep them all straight), and topped with pickles and tomatos. The burger also came with their typically generous portion of their addictive pommes frites, and their equally yummy fresh-made coleslaw.

Man, this thing was AWESOME! We had a heck of a time cutting it in half, but once we got that squared away, we dug in and just inhaled it! Seriously, we must not have spoken to each other for more than a few minutes as each of us was just enjoying this awesome monstrosity of a burger. I cannot fathom how one person could eat it all in one sitting!

This meat was cooked perfectly, this seasoning gave it a nice depth of flavor with a bit of heat, the cajun slaw really added more heat and a nice bit of creamy goodness, and then the cheddar cheese provided a bit of bite, followed by a perfect contrast in flavor/texture by the cripsy applewood smoked bacon.

The fries were their perfectly cooked tastiness, as is usual, and my only complaint of the evening was that the coleslaw was not as good as it usually is ... just seemed a little off that night.

I had a Diet Coke to drink, and my wife just had water, and since we had a cake cooling, we skipped dessert. Total bill was a shade over $40.

In conclusion, Boneyard is quickly becoming my favorite, go-to SFV restaurant. It certainly helps that it's right around the corner (and it ain't hurt by the fact that I have to pass Nata's on the way to and from!), but even if it weren't it always provides a consistently excellent meal, whether ordering from the BBQ or the Bistro side of the menu. Aaron is a really talented chef, with some great ideas. They have an outstanding beer menu, and a surprisingly good, albeit small, wine selection.

I would encourage everyone to give it a shot.

Oh, before I forget, I spoke with Aaron for a bit and he told me he's thinking of installing a house water-filtration system like the one at AOC, which can provide either sparkling or still water. I'm not sure if it's a definite, but 'twould be just one more thing to love about Boneyard.

Go!

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  1. I've always liked Boneyard, although the last I was there I was a little disappointed. I do love the beer list and the greens are out of this world! I use to live in that neighborhood and boy do I miss it! Great restaurants within walking distance, what a dream!

    1 Reply
    1. re: bosanova99

      "..the last I was there I was a little disappointed."
      Mind telling us why?

    2. I'll have to revisit soon. did they happen to have the foie gras and venison dish on the menu.

      although i don't like the fact that for most things have a "no substitiutions" policy. Who does Aron think he is Yang Soon???

      the burger does sound great, their tri-tip has been good in the past, along with their ribs, and the spicy mac n cheese is just ok. the hot fudge sundae for dessert is pretty great.

      1. I concur. I have never had a bad meal at Boneyard and Aaron is adorable and sweet. My only gripe is that it's in the Valley and I live over the hill!

        1. I'm jealous a213b that you're able to walk there. I was just at Boneyard last night. Love this place. Had the Pulled Pork Dumplings and the Southwest Pattymelt. Normally, I don't order pattymelts when I go out, but I had heard through Chowhounds that the Boneyard's Pattymelt was incredilble. It did not disappoint - Kobe Style Wagyu Beef served on grilled rye with cheddar and gruyere cheeses, sauteed onions, bacon, chilies, and a side of 3 dipping sauces (avocado-cilantro, 1000 Island, chipotle aioli). Served with cole slaw and crisp skinny fries. That and some great tasting beer, and I was more than happy, if such a word exists. Great owner (Aaron) and really nice servers who care.

          2 Replies
          1. re: omakase

            omakase, I love that Pattymely too! In fact, if you do a search you'll find my last post on Boneyard states it is the best pattymelt I've ever had!

            1. re: a213b

              Great minds think alike.

          2. I live in W. LA, but am still searching for the perfect BBQ (so far Phillips is still at the top of my list, and yes, I've been to J&Js, Woodys, JRs, Hogly Wogly, Baby Blues, Porkys, Tasty Q)... Is it worth the drive? Do they do one thing particularly great?

            1 Reply
            1. re: mdpilam

              i think the best really is Phillip's followed by J and J. Mom's BBQ on Vanowen is pretty darn good.

            2. Hi a213b,

              Thanks for the great review! :) I've been meaning to visit Boneyard, but keep getting sidetracked. With carter, Diana, now you and many others recommending this place, I'll have to make it out sooner rather than later. :)

              3 Replies
              1. re: JEN10

                if you visit, defintely also try the venison with foie gras, i think it's right about the time of year for it.

                the blackened catfish also sounds good thought i haven't tried it yet.

                1. re: kevin

                  One thing I do want to point out is that the menu online does not exactly match the current menu Aaron and Luis are putting out.

                  That's another great thing I love about this place; Aaron really, really cares, and he's constantly tweaking and changing his menu. He certainly has his set-in-stone dishes, but he is always adding/changing/replacing dishes, which really keeps things fresh.

                  1. re: a213b

                    a213b and Kevin -
                    Aaron just told me that as of right now, venison is too expensive for these times, yet he might bring the dish back in mid-December.
                    However, how about Chipotle Smoked Wild Boar St. Louis Ribs??? They are being offered tonight!!!
                    Also a new maple soy salmon dish with 5-spice sweet potato mash, wilted spinach, apple cream and apple slaw - who needs anything more fusion than that? Sounds sensational.
                    Another recent item was a duck confit with persimmons, and while he wants to do a cassoulet, the weather is just not cooperating. If it is like the previous version, run to have it when the time comes, assuming you like Cassoulet, which everyone should.
                    And of course lots of new wines and beers and beers and beers.
                    Not your standard ribs joint you say! One of the finest chefs in southern california, period.

              2. I'm really, really excited to try this place. The pictures I've seen of the ribs make them seem perfectly smoked.

                1. what a great review. i have never been and all the chowhound love makes me yearn for a trip to the valley

                  1. Hello.. Wife and I went to Boneyard twice in the last three weeks, once for a very special evening (wife's birthday and our mutual wedding anniversary) and once for a spontaneous weeknight outing. My review is decidedly mixed, and given the months/years we both looked forward to finally dining there, i came away marginally disappointed... First, the good news -- the food. Both visits, the chow really spoke well for itself, minus a couple of bad mis-steps. The short-ribs entree I thought I ordered turned out to be a massive single beef rib that was so very tender and smoky and awesome, that the confusion as to nomenclature became moot. I'm a hungry fellow, and even i brought home delectable leftovers from that massive/unctuous/tender rib. Kudos! And the appetizer of pulled pork dumplings was just as described on these boards many a time -- worthy of finger and bowl lickishness :-). Sided with an excellent slaw, by the way. We also had one of the specialty burgers, which could have been extraordinary but alas, was a big let-down. Good beef and decent & fresh condiments, then --- wah! my medium-rare request came out well-done. I knew there was trouble, when the order took much longer than reason might dictate and our server simply vanished for a half-hour (actually longer, as she never returned and the chow was brought out by the owner). When the owner finally looked around from the table where he was entertaining friends (family?), he noticed we had no food still, and as he ran back to the kitchen, I heard him say (to whomever was manning the grill) something to the effect that "that's a long two minutes". The burger emerged looking simply fine in terms of presentation, and the accompanying bacon was perfect, but my medium-rare kobe was well-done thru-and-thru. I am not too very fussy, so by the the time I took a couple of bites in search of blood or even pink, I decided to just go with what was on the plate. I was really bummed too, because I'd never had Kobe anything before and was looking forward to a rare good time! And the burger was exceptionally salty, but that is perhaps more subjective to my own tastes... What was truly a let-down at the boneyard, occurred on the first visit -- our birthday & wedding anniversary night. Now, when making a reservation 2 weeks in advance, i distinctly heard the person taking the reservation make the 'right sounds' as regards my mention of the special evening -- he repeated the words 'birthday' and 'anniversary' in the manner of someone making a note in the reservation book. On the night of our special date, we were treated just fine by our server. We ordered two apps, two entrees, two drinks, and two desserts. Now, I'm not really into sense of entitlement as regards extras, amuses, free drinks, etc.. But with two desserts, not so much as a measly b-day candle?? AND, I had to request the plain candle sitting on the table --unlit-- to be lit?? Well, the big moment came as we walked to the doorway to leave, and the server smiles and says "... happy anniversary, guys...". Hurray for us! Did we do something wrong (not order booze/wine, but instead soda with lemon)? sorry for this long report. We'll go back for the tasty food, for sure, but probably as take-out. I guess I'd feel better about the expereince, if i hadn't heard what an swell guy the owner was and how interested he was in every diner's opinion. Yeah, my bad for not speaking up about the ruined Kobe. I just felt that a known special dinner might merit a tad more enthusiasm than I get from the lady at the DMV :-( Wah :-(

                    1. I'm not going to do a full write-up, but we returned for our first Monday Night Fried Chicken night, and once again everything was "really good" to "great".

                      I tried the Inside Out Brie Nachos, my wife tried 1/4 Chicken, we had a side of the Fried Mac & Cheese, and then the Peanut Butter Truffle Chocolate Beignets for dessert.

                      MmmmMMmmmm ... lip-smacking good!