BarBrix last night
I've lived in Silverlake for the past nine years - and six years from 1980-86 before this. Restaurants have come and gone, some better than others, none what I would call great, plenty just okay enough for a neighborhood place.
Last night the girlfriend and I went to BarBrix and had the first truly excellent meal we've had out in our neighborhood.
The place is beautiful, with a good sized, away from the street patio, and a nice interior, not too dark, not too light, comfortable.
Deviled eggs with boquerones (marinated white anchovies) - they were fantastic. Our waitress, Lanie, who was from the south said that she's a traditionalist about her deviled eggs but that she loves these anyhow. And she was right. They were probably the best I've ever had anywhere.
Pork rillettes - very good, although probably the weakest part of the meal. They did come with a truly wonderful pickled red onion though.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad. I'm not usually big on cauliflower, this was extraordinary. In a slightly vinegary dressing, with chickpeas and green beans and a few other spices - possibly coriander, maybe a light curry powder of some sort - it was refreshing and interesting and wonderful.
Cataplana with Manila clams, white wine, garlic, chorizo and tomatoes. Astoundingly good. I'd happily order a big bowl of the sauce, a spoon and some bread and make a meal of it. One of the best, if not the best, versions of this dish I have ever had.
Moroccan spice rubbed lamb ribs with tomato and beldi olive sauce. Totally loved the sauce. The spice rub on the lamb was good, but had a few flavors that I didn't like quite so much. It was also a bit sweet. The charred bits were the best and the lamb was cooked perfectly. It was a very good dish in any event, and I loved mopping up the sauce with the bread.
The girlfriend had an Italian wine called Falanghina which she loves and has had a hard time finding. I had an excellent Sancerre.
Dinner, with 3-1/2 glasses of wine (they ran out of the Falanghina) came to $64 plus tip. Which seemed quite reasonable for the quality and environment.
I'd also like to especially mention our waitress Lanie. She was fantastic, friendly, perfect in every way. And, when the table next to ours ordered a particular cheese with a particular wine. we overheard her explain to them in an easygoing, straightforward manner, why they might want to reconsider that combination, and she suggested a different cheese as doing a better job of pairing with their choice of wine. That's something I don't often hear waiters do, and I was very impressed by it.
I like Barbrix especially Claudio (the owner I think). On the positive side, I like the farrow, feta,peas and mint dish. Very yummy! On the negative side(small complaints), too may chickpeas. The night that I went they ended up in 2 of the 5 dishes we ordered. Also, the pacing of the dishes is a mystery. I've been in a party of two and a party of six. With just one other person you would hope that the waiter or waitress could bring the dishes one at a time. With the party of six, I understood the strategy of bringing them all at once. But like I say, these are minor things that do not diminish my very positive view of the place.
Nice review. I've been a couple of times, sitting in the back bar area watching chef Don Dickman and his crew create their magic. I love the open kitchen and "small plate" concept. You mentioned a lot of my favorites, especially the deviled eggs. I'd like to add to your recommendations the fried sweetbreads, the veal meatballs, the boar sausage, the pork belly, and the ginger shortcake for dessert. The atmosphere is a lot of fun and very inviting, reflecting the personalities of the owners. It's a great addition to the area.
"The atmosphere is a lot of fun and very inviting, reflecting the personalities of the owners. It's a great addition to the area."
Absolutely the best assessment of Barbrix. Ownership cares, and makes the customer feel right at home.
But don't neglect adding a comment regarding noise - it gets very noisy inside on most nights, and thus the patio, set back from the street, can be a quieter option most of the time, weather permitting.
Eating at the bar can also be fun if the tables are occupied.