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Dec 14, 2008 09:01 PM

Report on Boneyard Bistro

Finally got there tonight. We're not big drinkers and since it is Sunday night and we drove in from Pasadena, no beer for us but the list was pretty impressive. Anyway my dad had the Baby Backs because they were believe it or not out of the St Louis ribs. Aaron said that typically the Baby Backs sell 4 to 1 to the St Louis. Maybe people are catching on to the fact that IMHO the St Louis are better. You could tell my dad was enjoying the Baby Backs though, there was nothing left but bleached bones. I had one. Meaty, smoky and tender. My hubby had the pulled pork sandwich, which was very generously portioned and probably the best I have ever had (I got a few bites). Not overly sauced. I should have asked Aaron what was in the sauce-it tasted like a bit of Bourbon was in it. Delicious! I had the Ancho Grilled Shrimp with Succotash. The menu also listed Crispy Vidalia Onions which I was looking forward to but just now realized they did not accompany my dish. I wonder what happened. Anyway the shrimp was grilled and done right, not over cooked and dry. Our little guy had the Tri Tip Sandwich but I was pretty saturated from all the other meats I was tasting to try it. I will have the opportunity though because he brought 1/2 of it home. The bread and mini corn breads for the table were worth wasting calories on as well. I could have made a meal out of those mini corn breads. The big surprise of the evening was that tables were being sent complimentary "appetizers" of pastrami on rye. In talking to Aaron, he told me he is trying to create some items to encourage weekend lunch business. This pastrami is it. I couldn't believe how tender it was. There was no connective tissue left and the meat just melted in your mouth. It was awesome. It will only be available for lunch on weekends. I don't know what could compare especially since Langer's isn't open on Sundays. I wanted to get the banana split for dessert but we all were too full. There is always next time. I really want to go on a Monday night for the Fried Chicken.

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  1. Awesome Fru! I'm so glad you loved it.

    We are quickly becoming regulars there; in fact, we brought some friends in Saturday evening for their first time, and they loved it! Too bad Aaron wasn't in for us to introduce him.

    BB has become my favorite Valley restaurant, and is a guaranteed crowd/friend/family pleaser, even (and especially!) for the most discerning of palates.

    I don't pimp out many places, but this one I certainly do.

    Glad you enjoyed!

    6 Replies
    1. re: a213b

      I admit that I was a little apprehensive prior to our visit because of it being on Ventura Blvd but my fears were assuaged just by the way they answer the phone. Sorry if I'm sounding prejudiced but I grew up in the area and have tried many places that put attitude before substance. I can honestly say that this place is solid.

      1. re: Fru

        I was there on Sunday also, had the brisket sandwich and really enjoyed it. Typically I have the Southwest patty melt, it's difficult for me not to order it and I have to talk myself into trying something I haven't had.

        1. re: tofuburrito

          As an addition to your patty melt/brisket selections, you should try the burrito with many varied choices of meats. Truly a huge portion, definitely a winner.
          To me, the Boneyard and Max are the two best, most consistent restaurants in the Valley.

          1. re: carter

            And tonight marks the official opening of the Boneyard's newly doubled size, complete with built-in bar seating, and of course all those meat items Aaron is known for, and a superb wine and beer list. Rumor has beers now numbering around 25, on tap. Not sure if all will be available tonight, but very soon.

            1. re: carter

              won't be able to tonite, but if you do go please post, i'm still interested if they have the bistro dishes on the menu like the venison w foie and the lamb rack, and the blackedn catfish.

              1. re: kevin

                Well, I did go, and while I never looked at the regular menu, as I sat in the new bar, I ordered from the bar menu, which features somewhat typical bar menu food, but prepared much better than most bar food, at bar food prices. I had a full glass, plus a smaller glass of beer, and a full glass of malbec wine, plus the chicken drummetes prepared 3 ways on skewers, plus an order of Sweet Potato Fries for $37+tip.
                The look and feel of this nearly packed restaurant is sensational. Truly what Ventura Blvd. needed. Vanessa and Rory(bar manager) in the bar were servers, and both knew the menus very well.
                Mike is still there, and has been for about 5 years.
                Ran into many regulars from the local 'hood.
                The venison and lamb dishes would not be available until fall, as they are more cold weather dishes.
                As to catfish, as I said, did not look at the regular menu.
                Maybe next time!!!

    2. I see that a lot of people love this place, and I've seen the astroturf raves online, but I don't know...
      We made a reservation there on a rainy night a while ago, and when we arrived, our table wasn't ready at the appointed time. They wanted us to stand outside in the rain for 15-20 minutes because they didn't have anyplace inside for us to wait for the table we'd booked. They couldn't find a couple of chairs? Excuse me, but is that any way to run a restaurant? How could I have any confidence in the kitchen when the front of the house is that screwy? We won't be back, which may be our loss, but we'll survive.

      25 Replies
      1. re: farmertomato

        I would've been mildly disturbed if this happened to me but the place is small and I can see how they may not have been prepared to be busy and have it rain outside. Also, they normally have outdoor seating which I imagine was unavailable and cut their available tables by 1/3. Maybe wait inside your car and have them call you when your table is ready? Not sure... just a suggestion. Sorry to hear about your experience but you should give it another try. It may be worth the return visit. The baked beans with burnt brisket ends alone is worth waiting in the rain for;)

        1. re: mrshankly

          Thanks for understanding--I needed to vent. Someday we'll get over it and try again, but they were neither diplomatic nor friendly about it, and I smelled Ventura Boulevard attitude above the scent of the 'cue.

          1. re: farmertomato

            Boneyard has many fans on the board, but I am not one of them. I think what you experienced is, unfortunately, pretty typical. Attitude, lukewarm to bad customer service, and overpriced so-so food.

            After the owner gave me attitude for wanting a well-done burger when I was pregnant, I vowed never to return.

            See here for more:

            1. re: Suebee

              I looked at your thread and feel now that a return visit isn't necessary. Sounds like my first impression was the right one. There are too many great restaurants in this town to take a chance that the staff will feel friendly on the night we happen to appear. Thanks.

              1. re: farmertomato

                All I can say, and I've said it before ,is that I've been about 5 times and only experienced a minor glitch once. That time my very expensive ($22) burger arrived well done when I had ordered it "extra rare." I finally got Chef Aarons attention because he was working another table and he was somewhat cocky explaining that they continue to cook....blah blah blah. I am not a pro chef but I know how to cook, I set him straight and got a perfectly cooked replacement. The other 4 times he was professional, friendly and provided wonderful meals. To me the prices are a bit, well more than a bit high but the food is great and his beer list is world class. If the burgers were less than $18-$22 and my Tomahawk Steak were less than $56 I might return more often but except for the high price I'm a fan.

                1. re: sel

                  wow, one of the steaks on the menu is 56 bucks, that is really expensive even for boneyard, and the funny thing is that it's probably not prime even.

                  1. re: sel

                    $22 for a burger? Is it the size of a small dog?? I can't believe that, sounds like a huge rip to me.

                    ps - what up with your link?

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      Burgers can be built from modest to gigantic, depending on preferences of scale as well as add-ons. Prices start as I recall at around $11 or thereabouts, and yes, $22 can be there, yet so will the kitchen sink in toppings - your choices of course, including foie gras if desired.
                      As to a $56 steak, most of the steaks are nowhere near that price, yet if you want a bone-in ribeye and are willing to pay for the gigantic version, and it is by the pound, well, then you will get what you want, yet will obviously pay for it. The Tomahawk must be the largest version, as I remember steaks in the 30s category as well.
                      The boneyard website is not fully operative now as it is being redone, or I would link to the menu.

                      1. re: carter

                        Don't do that, Carter, tantalizing me with a tease about a Tomahawk steak, it's too early in the morning to get my stomach juices all excited.

                        All kidding aside, have you had it here and if so, how was it?

                        And the "under construction" web site still has active links to the menu, where I note that one reason why the burgers may seem pricey is because, according to the menu, apparently all the burgers are made with American Wagyu Beef.

                        1. re: carter

                          Hi Carter, I ordered Aaron's Tomahawk Steak because he suggested it, he made it sound very special and to be honest, I had never heard of this cut. And it WAS very good. As I was having other shared dishes to start I requested the smallest steak available. Regarding the burger pricing, I may be wrong but I thought they were all the same rather large size, price did increase with the add-ons.

                          1. re: carter

                            Okay, well when you explain it that way, it doesn't sound to bad of a rip.

                          2. re: Phurstluv

                            Yes Phurstluv, a $22 burger. It was larger than some of the other upscale burgers that I've had, I wish that it were a bit smaller so I would have room for an appitizer. They are very tasty burgers. Worth $22? For me, not very often, Boneyard Bistro may be a casual spot but it is a special occasion priced menu. Except on Monday 1/2 price beer night which helps!

                            Boneyard Bistro
                            13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

                      2. re: Suebee

                        the owner is a pompus arrogant ass, even the waitress was embarassed by him and apologized for his behavior the one (and last) time we went.

                        1. re: Homer6421

                          I have to agree. My wife was going to surprise me with a dinner there for fathers day and had made the reservation a month ago. When she called to confirm she found that they were going to be closed for remodeling. No phone call. Nothing. When she asked why they didnt call they called her "honey" and said pretty much oh well deal with it. Im sorry but with the selection in this city I am tired of places like these that feel they are doing us a favor. I can bbq at home and not have the attitiude and save some money. Sorry but I will NEVER EVER try this place.

                          1. re: ranole

                            "I am tired of places like these that feel they are doing us a favor. I can bbq at home and not have the attitiude and save some money."

                            Totally agree. And in this economy, it seems a bit suicidal.

                            1. re: ranole

                              You can have your reasons for not going and any comment made in defense will not stand up for you and that treatment. Yet who knows what may have been going on that you were not aware of at that time, given the restaurant is under extensive remodel/expansion, and things happen in that environment.
                              But you would be missing out on some of the best bbq in the LA area, with equally tasty burgers, and a quality beer & wine list.

                              1. re: carter

                                Unfortunately the employees mirror the attitude of the owner, Aaron. It's hard to believe that even though the food is supposed to be terrific, he's not giving it away and no one needs to pay those amounts and be treated like you're doing them a favor. There are many other places who will gladly take my money and still treat me like a good customer.

                            2. re: Homer6421

                              My experience matches those described in this thread. We won't be back, ever.

                            3. re: Suebee

                              $22 for a burger? That's pretty funny. I'll just go to Rustic Canyon or Comme Ca and have a burger, thanks.

                              1. re: Suebee

                                It's a shame some folks have had such a bad experience with the service. For whatever it's worth, I've been there a few times and the staff has always been wonderful. The first time we went, we chatted with the owner for about fifteen minutes and he seemed like a good guy.

                                  1. re: tofuburrito

                                    Just returned from a wonderful Monday Night fried chicken meal at Boneyard Bistro. Here's a photo for those that haven't tried this yet. It's always a pleasure catching up with the owner Aaron too, great guy and it amazes me how many people with both know. Carter, Aaron says "Hello" to you his well.



                                    Boneyard Bistro
                                    13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

                                    1. re: Hypnotic23

                                      Funny thing is, I almost went for fried chicken last night. It is so good.
                                      Did he have his full liquor license yet??
                                      Love the look of the expansion/bar area.

                                      1. re: carter


                                        No LL yet. Was there for dinner Sunday night, and we talked to him about it ... he's hoping by, at the latest, the end of the month. Sounds like it's really close, and he's got some good idea for menu items coming up (including kangaroo!)

                                        1. re: a213b

                                          One of my best memories of the boneyard was that kangaroo dish he did about 3 years ago - that was sooooooo good.
                                          I will stop by and check out things this week or next, and keep all posted.

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