Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Mar 7, 2009 12:15 PM

Reservoir in Silverlake?

I heard it opened last night. Anyone tried it yet?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I live in the neighborhood (obviously -- see moniker), to me the restaurant's menu and esp the prices are really not motivating us to try it. I wish restaurateurs would realize this -- many people living in the neighborhood work in Hollywood. There's been a defacto strike going on for months -- and the town is just getting back. On top of that, you have the recession/depression. So the pricing and the general non-originality of the place, is not making me hop&down to try it. That said, we're treating ourselves to "animal" tonight --- it's different, unique, and we'll pay for that. Won't pay for an overpriced bistro -- sorry!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Silverlaker

      One of the most critical things a restaurateur must do is price his menu properly. That means taking into account his market, their economics, and being able to stimulate their curiosity. Given the location, I imagine the restaurant signed on before the real estate bubble burst, causing low receipts combined with cash poor customers.

      It's a recipe for disaster unless the restaurant grabs hold of his food costs, and rethinks his menu.

      1. re: mymymichl

        And the only affordable thing on the menu is designer pizzas -- PIZZAS! That's the last thing this neighborhood needs. And the recession has been going on, officially, for six months -- and the preparation for the restaurant over two years, they could have figured this out and adjusted accordingly.

      2. re: Silverlaker

        I live right up the street and found the menu uninspiring. Yes, I said the same thing about pizzas. It might end up being great, but I have a hard time justifying spending $36 for a choice ribeye. I will try it eventually.
        I look forward to Domenico though.

        1. re: cls

          To be fair, it is a 14oz cowboy ribeye for $32, I hope it is choice? Now if I understand my steaks a cowboy rib eye has the bone on, so you are getting a 10-11 oz piece of meat. If you added a salad to that it would be about a $42 meal before drinks and dessert.

          1. re: cls

            $36 for a Steak not dry aged is a little much... particularly for a non steak house. I do want to try it but the hamburgers and pizza left me uninspired as well. It would be a nice choice for lunch, but they are not even open. I do want to try it.
            I equally look forward to Domenico. It would appear to be the place to try...

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. There were a lot of Netty's (former tenant) fans out there and I wasn't one of them. I found the space awkward and unwelcoming. The food was overpriced and just ok.

            Reservoir is a massive improvement in every way. They did a beautiful job with the room. It is cozy and a little bit modern. They added a lovely wood slat ceiling that is somewhat sauna-ish and a wine bar. The room is smaller than you think and sophisticated without being stuffy.

            Sure, the food costs a little more than what the neighborhood is used to, but it really was a bargain ($69 for 2 apps, 2 entrees) for the level of food delivered. They comped our corkage. I couldn't hear our waitresses reason for doing so, but that was an added bonus.

            We shared the beet salad w/blue cheese and hazelnuts and the pizza with wild mushrooms and feta to start. I've had variations on this salad a million times, but Revervoir's was executed perfectly, with all elements working together. I thought all of the pizza's flavors were spot-on, but the crust could have been crispier. My man disagreed.

            He had the black cod with farro and asparagus. I had the scallops with polenta/peas/chanterelles. Both were done really well and had very nice woodsy depth.

            We will be back. Reservoir is a little too pricey to get into the regular neighborhood rotation. I found the food much more exciting than nearby Blair's, Edendale Grill or Cliff's Edge and at a similar price point.

            3 Replies
            1. re: scurvy

              Good to hear about the food! We ate at the new michelangelos and their prices jacked up -- we spent $70 for two (sans wine) and were annoyed as our bill seemed to have raised by $20 bucks and haven't been back since.

              We'll try Reservoir.

              Ate at "animal" last night and had a great time -- the food was really good! We left a bit hungry as the portions were small and we had underestimated this and ordered 2 apps and one entrees -- we should have each ordered an entrees. Next time!

              But we'll try Reservoir -- Blair's has gone down in quality and we find Canelle a bit hectic since they won't take resies. Thanks for the specifics!

              1. re: Silverlaker

                I too will try, and it's nice to hear good things.
                What our posts were about was the perception, not the actual restaurant.

                1. re: Silverlaker

                  FYI - Reservoir doesn't take reservations. We got there about 6:30 thinking we might beat the Daily Candy crowd and we were seated immediately. There were a handful of people waiting when we left, but not too bad. We weren't rushed out either, which was nice.

              2. resevoir is GREAT.
                we ate there last night and although a bit spendy, we all felt it was worth the price.
                the service was great. we were seated promptly in the very nicely designed space. our waiter was friendly but not too friendly and knew quite a bit about the menu considering they've only been opened a few days.
                i know i will take issue with their no reservation policy. they want to keep it available to locals. makes no sense to me, because last time I checked, most people in silverlake also have phones. being from los feliz, i guess I am a 2nd class citizen here. anyway, not an issue right now because a table was available.
                after word starts getting out about the great food and overall good vibe, i feel i will be waiting an hour or so for a table on a friday night unless i get there at 5-6pm.

                anyway, on to the food.
                the menu is very interesting and divided in kind of a novel way.
                most of the mains are ordered "a la carte" but you get to pick from 4-5 different setups. a setup consists of some carbs and some veggies. that doesn't really do it justice though. I ordered the skirt steak with chimichuri and while it was good, and cooked to my requested temperature, it didn't really showcase the skills of the kitchen. my choice of "setup" was a little more telling though. Parmesan crusted potato au gratin with a hash of beluga lentils and fava beans were very very good and added a much needed variety of taste and texture to the plate.
                other items ordered at our table which i sampled.
                scallops (hell's kitchen reference???) nice texture, not rubbery, not over cooked, very nicely seared with good color and bite. polenta with spring peas and morel mushrooms. very good choice of a "setup". we saw some other tables just ordering "setups" as a main, and I would think that is a great choice for a vegetarian. speaking of which, we had one with us and he ordered the tofu. came served about the size of a stick of butter. crusted with black and toasted sesame seeds, marinated in an asian inspired soy based sauce. not too firm but not squishy or watery either. i would say it was one of the better tofu dishes I've had in a while. (jitlada tofu excepted)
                one of the more unusual and interesting dishes we had was a braised beef shortrib and artichoke open face lasagna. this was the star for me. braised shortribs of course were tender, the baby artichokes went well with the dish. also lots of very flavorful cherry tomatoes that had been cooked in with the dish. the lasagna was really just a sheet of lasagna folded into the dish, so it wasn't layered as you might think from the name. regardless, it worked well together and I would go back just for that dish again.

                desserts were also very good, and we only managed to try 2 but all the other choices on the mneu sounded very very good. sometimes, we struggle just to find one good choice on some dessert menus. anyway, we had some crazy chocolate plate, which was really about 5 desserts in one. the standard flourless moulten chocolate cake, some mousse with blood oranges(?), peppermint bark, a small shot of spicy hot chocolate and a bit of guiness ice cream. while the plate didn't really come across as a solid concept, i don't think that was the point. each little bit stood on it's own and was very delicious and served fresh. now, about that guiness ice cream. weird? yes. amazing? yes. very subtle. we were also intrigues by their other flavors of ice creams, so got a plate of 3. nutella, black garlic, and horchata. i thought the black garlic ice cream was disgusting and while probably made as well as one could hope, there are just some things better left alone. horchata was really really good though, a little less in-your-face than a glass of horchata, which made it a nice interpretation. the nutella was a little disappointing, the chocolate flavor overwhelmed any sense of hazelnuttiness that i would have liked, and while we did eat all of it, probably would not be my first choice next time. we missed out on a tarte tatin with a creme anglaise and caramel, and also missed out an interesting sounding panna cotta.
                so obviously, i think the spot will do well, but please don't go so i can get a table.

                4 Replies
                1. re: humara

                  it's amazing how quickly a night out at a new restaurant can go wrong. we called Reservoir last night around 7pm to see if it was going to even be possible to get a table. they said the wait was 10-15min, to come on down. Great! My wife and I called another couple who live in the area and headed down for what we hoped was a quick table and great meal.

                  That's where it ended. As soon as we arrived we were told it would be about 10 minutes and "please take a seat at the bar". An hour later, we still didn't have a table and were about to walk out. I mean, seriously, an hour? And not only that, but there was no offer of food or anything to hold us over. We had to ask for bread - they brought one roll for 4 people.

                  Then, as we're about to just pay the tab and leave, they finally seat us. Yes, it's a small space. but we were seated at a table that completely blocked off another table so every time the waitress needed to tend to the table next to us, she had to ask my friend's wife to move. basically to get up out of her chair and let the waitress in. Now, here's an issue in itself - there was a guy that could have moved as well, right behind her, but she kept asking my friend's wife, who just waited 1 hour for a table, to awkwardly move. really?

                  Then, we get no setups. we're starving. no bread. meanwhile, everyone else in the restaurant gets a basket of bread and setups as soon as they sit down. I have to ask a busboy to get bread brought over. We order appetizers to get food flowing because now we're starving. 45min later, we get them. really? 45 minutes for a salad and some bland fried cheese? Then, no plates, still don't have setups. we have to ask for them.

                  The waitress can't stop saying sorry. stop saying sorry after every word and just handle it! We get it it's a new restaurant! Let's move on and have a good night!

                  Then, finally, 30min after appetizers, the meal comes. My friend and I are served. Wives aren't. Takes 5 minutes and a lot of scrambling to get their food to the table so we can all start eating. And again, it's bland. We love food - Hatfields, Lucques, Terroni's, Mozza, Palette.. The prices at Reservoir compare but the food unfortunately doesn't.

                  We voice our complaints to the GM who shrugs them off completely. Then the waitress offers a dessert with the tone that "we're sorry, please, have a desert on us". Because at that point we're over it and just want the bill but we say ok. Another 20min later, desert comes. Again, just ok.

                  Lastly, the bill comes. Full price for everything. Now, we're not looking for a free meal or putting on a show to get the bill reduced.. it's just shocking when things go as bad as they did that not one item that was ordered was taken off the check.. like the drinks at the bar when we were waiting, or that dessert she suggested we stay for, or one of the small bottles of Pelegrino I was drinking. Now, at this point, it's 10pm. we got there at about 7:10pm. it's been 2 hours or more of waiting and drama. my wife takes up the bill with the GM.

                  My friend and I leave to avoid even more drama inside the restaurant as we're now quite upset. The GM does eventually cut the bill in half and to be honest, I was so upset with the entire night that I was unfortunately rude when he tried to come out and speak with me. I'll have to apologize for that at some point as I hate leaving under that pretense.

                  But honestly, with all the waiting, drama, attitude, shrugging off of complaints, etc - I'd never recommend this restaurant to anyone. MAYBE they'll get it together and turn it around but unfortunately I'll never know. They've turned our crew off for life.

                  In the future, as a tip for a new restaurant, you may want to tell people you're booked if you're booked. maybe even if you're not. it creates buzz. and if something like this happens, in the first couple weeks of opening while you're working out the kinks, just offer a glass of wine and an appetizer right away - it diffuses the situation immediately and barely dents your profit. then customers leave happy instead of bitter.

                  1. re: jeff_uprising

                    Jeff, I SO agree. A group of us girls were at BLD about a month ago for dinner and they had a problem with someone calling in sick and our 1 hour dinner turned into almost two. Honestly, I was having fun w my friends that I hardly noticed but our waiter did and he approached us, apologizing and saying one of their chefs was sick and then, asked us what he could comp us with. We got to choose and each got a freebie dessert. And yes, we'll be back and there was no hard feelings b/c #1, the restaurant identified the problem, apologized and were proactive #2 they took care of us, and were friendly and lovely about it.

                    1. re: jeff_uprising

                      so sorry u had this experience. sounds like i'll be skipping this place. no patience for that sort of thing. completely inexcusable, new restaurant or not.

                  2. Just returned from Reservoir and we were severely disappointed. For starters, one of the pleasures for me of restaurant dining is the opportunity to experience a particular environmental aesthetic. There was none here that I could detect. Maybe I missed something. There was no centerpiece on our table. The others had cheap votive candle holders most of which remained unlit. Nary a flower to be seen. My view was of the large green exit sign and the 7-11 in the distance. The walls were tanish, no paintings, no plants. The windows were stark and unadorned. My husband's view was of the parking lot and the large, new illuminated billboard that now hovers over Silver Lake. There was some calm punctuated by headlights shining in his face unmitigated by any window treatment or intervening plantings. There was no color to be seen and one of the lights in the ceiling was already out. The portions were small. It took 45 minutes for our bread to arrive. And nothing was offered in its place. After I inquired about the bread, the GM came and told me it had been burned and they started a new batch but no concern for our state of hunger. My husband's chicken was dry, the sides miniscule. There was nothing warm, comforting, beautiful or caring about the evening. I prefer the beauty of Blair's: the color, the paintings, the quirky music, the interessting beers, the friendly owner and the overall warmth and care of the place. I was also exhausted by the noise and the effort to hear. Back to Blair's on Sat. I hope the Reservoir management considers adding some warmth, color and beauty.