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La Poubelle in Los Feliz

r
Ross E Apr 9, 2005 12:36 PM

Ventured up to Los Feliz last night to experience La Poubelle (5900 block of Franklin), and I have to say that it was perhaps the worst dining experience I have had in LA. I had been warned that it is something of a night spot and to arrive early for the best bet for dinner, which we did. Nonetheless, we waited nearly an hour for our food to arrive, the waitress was nearly non-existent, we never received bread for the table. You get the point. But the capper on the meal was that when my coq au vin arrived it was bone cold. I can understand getting swamped and the kitchen getting backed up. But to wait that long and have chilly mushrooms was absolutely unacceptable. To make matters worse, even though the coq was stricken from the bill and our drinks comped, the waitress was less than 100% apologetic. In that case, I really do expect some extreme butt-kissing. All we got was a "wow, I'm sorry. Yeah, this place gets CRAZY! I have been telling my tables now that things are backed up." Great news! Too bad you didn't tell us, and that still doesn't make up for my situation. All in all, I cannot remember a worse dining experience in recent memory. Once again, I know that it was a Friday night, but we were there well before they got truly slammed, and when they did, it was bar business, not kitchen business. BOO!

  1. m
    mc michael Apr 9, 2005 12:59 PM

    Now you know why it's called the "trash can." Better to go a little way down the block to Prizzi's Piazza. Much more reliable.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mc michael
      j
      jschyun Apr 10, 2005 07:00 AM

      When I saw the name, I thought, why the hell would anyone name a restaurant after a trash can? Were they determined to fail?

      1. re: jschyun
        m
        mc michael Apr 10, 2005 09:26 AM

        I think it's the kitchen sink concept.

      2. re: mc michael
        l
        LT from LF Apr 11, 2005 01:24 PM

        I second the Prizzi's recommendation. I went there expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised that the pasta alla carbonara was actually made with pancetta and without cream.

        I'm glad to know I haven't been missing anything by not going to La Poubelle. As for Birds, they haven't really been good since they opened. The chicken is nothing special, the sauces are gloppy and forgettable. They must get a lot of business from the neighborhood because the parking situation there is horrible; it's a shame that they don't have any incentive to improve.

        1. re: mc michael
          katkoupai May 4, 2007 04:05 PM

          Agreed-- it truly is the trashcan, and an overpriced trashcan at that. I went there for a bday dinner once and was thoroughly disappointed with the food and the tab. I enjoyed the night anyway because of the group I went with.

        2. c
          Chowpatty Apr 9, 2005 03:23 PM

          Yes, this is one of those places that inexplicably survives on its reputation circa 1978 or so. I don't think Los Feliz wants to claim this place either -- it's actually Hollywood.

          1. b
            Burger Boy Apr 9, 2005 08:03 PM

            Just an FYI, that is Hollywood Hills not Los Feliz.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Burger Boy
              m
              mc michael Apr 9, 2005 08:16 PM

              Or, you could call it Beachwood Canyon as locals are want to do.

              1. re: mc michael
                b
                Burger Boy Apr 10, 2005 03:18 AM

                Absolutley!!!

              2. re: Burger Boy
                l
                Ledbetter Apr 11, 2005 01:41 PM

                Re your FYI...don't think so...the 5900 block of Franklin has never been called Hollywood Hills.

                1. re: Ledbetter
                  m
                  mc michael Apr 11, 2005 02:12 PM

                  FWIW, the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop (where parts of Swingers were filmed) used to be located about 2 blocks down the street on Franklin.

              3. r
                rabo encendido Apr 9, 2005 08:41 PM

                Having been a denizen of Beachwood Canyon for the better part of a decade, I oft bemoaned the sorry state of gastronomic affairs on this appealing little strip of storefronts along Franklin (the aforementioned PRIZZI'S notwithstanding).

                Stop in at THE BOURGEOIS PIG for outrageously overpriced swill masquerading as coffee. Or how about some dry, stringy chicken, served with a heaping side of attitude at BIRDS? Then there's the sub-Todai sushi place. Even VICTOR's, around the corner, does not escape the wide reach of mediocity.

                LA POUBELLE, during my 90's Hollywood tenure, hitched widely to and fro, an out-of-control rollercoaster of quality. A decent plate of escargot here, a tepid plate of rubbery, overcooked pasta there. I once had what I thought was an incredible filet mignon and frites (maybe 5 yrs ago). My last meal there a year ago (some fantastically poor fish preparation) largely jives with what Ross describes. At least the horrible, snotty service is consistent.

                Y'know, a banh mi joint would make a killing here...

                3 Replies
                1. re: rabo encendido
                  b
                  Bob Apr 11, 2005 08:42 PM

                  As a longtime resident of the area, I couldn't agree more about the terrible quality of most of the Beachwood restaurants. But you have to take all those places in the right spirit, and they can be quite fun.

                  Birds has mediocre food but is a nice place to do some people-watching over a beer on a Saturday afternoon.

                  La Poubelle is fine for a weeknight drink. Just sit at the bar, avoid the food, and laugh at all the confused, angry diners who actually expect decent service and food there.

                  Victors makes a decent though pricey sandwich (the deli, not the restaurant) and is a good wine store.

                  Bourgeois Pig is....actually, come to think of it, there's nothing redeeming there. Although sometimes it's fun in an ironic way to look at the terrible art hanging on the walls.

                  And then if for some reason you actually do need a good meal, there's one of the best sushi places in LA down the road on Gower - Ike.

                  1. re: Bob
                    r
                    rabo encendido Apr 11, 2005 08:57 PM

                    BOB---my critique was pretty much food-oriented. I agree wholeheartedly with your philosophical approach. Food excepted, I have a warm and slightly intoxicated place in my heart for BIRDS, in particular.

                    Moreover, I'm a fellow champion of SUSHI IKE. Though I've moved away, I frequently make return trips.

                    Sushi Ike
                    (323) 856-9972
                    6051 Hollywood Blvd
                    Los Angeles, CA 90028

                    1. re: rabo encendido
                      p
                      PoetKitty Jul 8, 2006 09:18 PM

                      I'm with you guys 100% - I too am a Beachwood rezzie, and proud of it, but what's UP with that strip of horrendous eateries?
                      We really should pool our resources and open something decent - ANYthing decent. I would love to be able to walk down there for decent chow.
                      La Poubelle is a nightmare. Boo on them.

                2. d
                  DreinLA Jul 8, 2006 12:16 AM

                  Funny, we walked by that place last night and wondered if anything had changed. The last time we "dined" (using the term loosely of course) at la poobell years and years ago, the waiter who was slicing the bread was also sneezing all over the bread. And using his hand as a hankerchief. The hand he was holding the bread with. We all stopped eating and left. When they say consistency is key, I don't think that's supposed to apply to mediocrity.

                  1. PaulF Jul 8, 2006 04:04 AM

                    It's too bad.

                    LP was pretty damn good about 15 or 20 years ago.

                    They had a great, young fellow cooking there. And the French lady who owned it was a real character.

                    I rememeber when he quit ... partly because he wanted to work at a restaurant as part of a line of chefs and partly because the lady who owned it used to scream a lot ... and it was never the same.

                    I probably ate there 25 time between 1985 and 1990 and 0 times since. Something like that, anyway ...

                    1. s
                      Silverlaker Jul 8, 2006 06:56 PM

                      A good alternate is CAFE STELLA in Silverlake -- much better food, it's just as hip and you can people watch. I just keep it to drinks on Franklin (except for Prizzis')

                      1. trolley Jul 8, 2006 08:15 PM

                        expenisve gross food and pricey mediocre wines. the owner, jackie and the rest of the staff are not worth mentioning. i'm sure we're safe to say that after this thread no one here will be eating there but do not, and i warn you, do not ever get the pizza there.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: trolley
                          l
                          luvtweet May 4, 2007 04:01 PM

                          Went there last night for the first time in easily 20 years. It was a spur of the moment decision, so I had not checked these posts.(Had I done so, I would have avoided going, but) I must say, all in all, it was actually pretty good. Granted, it was a weeknight, so perhaps therein lies the secret. It was popular, but not overly crowded, the service was very friendly and attentive, and our crepes(which I had remembered being their specialty) were delicious! My guy ordered the chicken crepe; I could not decide between that and the spinach, so the waitress suggested combining both.. excellent!
                          If I had to mention any negatives, one might be the parking(duh-- it's Franklin)and the other, the wine prices/$25 corkage(!).Overall though, I'd still recommend it.. just go on a weeknight.

                        2. m
                          mangia May 4, 2007 04:10 PM

                          Must agree and that entire strip is just plain bad..Prizzi's is the best of the bunch -nice place for a glass of wine and a simple pasta, but really, not worth the parking hassle--just where do all those people park?

                          Sad..why can't we get something decent there? Wasn't there a French/Japanese place where the sushi place is now? I recall having a good dinner there a few years ago.

                          As for Sushi Ike-it's VERY good, but good luck getting a place at the sushi bar. Two of us went last night, Thursday, and at 6:15 there was no room.

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