The Lab Gastropub: USC/South LA
Always in search of a good bar with good food I saw that this place opened up right accross the street from USC last week, next to the Galen Center on Figueroa. I work nearby so i decided to drop in for lunch today with a freind.
It has a hip vibe and modern decor that is supposed to resemble some kind of science lab including chalkboards with mathematical equasions. A little cheesy in my opinion.
Onto the food and drink. The beer list was solid. About 15-20 craft beers on tap including a few that apparently are made especially for this establishment from Karl Straus. There are also many obscure bottled beers on the menu. I tried the sampler that included Green Flash IPA, Red Trolley, Sam Adama White, and something called Lab Amber. Beer was solid.
Food was a different story. Average at best. I had a rosemary chicken club that was pretty dry and lacked flavor. My freind at a steak sandwich which was dissapointing. It also took about twenty minutes to get our food while the place was empty. I will let that slide because the place is so new but I am not in a rush to sample the rest of the menu.
Based on thier location alone its probably going to be very popular with the students accross the street. I dont think their website is up yet and apparently they do not have a happy hour which is puzzling. You can tell that his place is going for a Fathers Office type of environment, too bad the food leaves a lot to be desired.
The service is awful, it took 30 minutes to get served. I wouldn't have minded this and the sticky tables if they hadn't charged my credit card without asking for all the drinks of my colleagues and me (we all left cards). Nice! and I was the only girl, paying for four other guys... I have the name of the manager, I'll just leave it at she's fair headed and she knows who she is...
I went here last night with a few friends (two of which went the night before) and I was actually really pleased. It was very busy, but I liked the open feel of it a lot. Contrary to toonoble, I think the chalkboards are pretty cute (but I'm a dork like that!).
We all shared a few appetizers and I was excited about them (buffalo chicken, fried artichoke, and chicken quesadilla).
I also didn't have any problems with paying, and the four of us split our check with no problems. I didn't try any of the beer though, but the juniper (I think that was it?) soda was pretty tasty, I've never tried that before so that was interesting. My friends all thought it was awesome too, so I'd be happy to go back.
They have so many beers it's amazing! I'll admit, the first time I went everything was pretty slow, but since then they seemed to have hired a lot more help and everythign was extremely smooth. The food even tasted better, which is normal since they are also probably trying out new recipes and learning what works best. My server was so nice and he made sure we had a great time. If you are a serious beer drinker, try the Arrogant Bastard.
Also near the 'SC University Park campus....
Try Bacaro L.A., on Union, at the Hoover "traffic triangle". Nice little wine bar with great pizza, sliders, tapas & cheese plates.