Silver Lake area suggestions?
I live on the Westside and I seldom venture as far as Silver Lake, but my husband and I (and maybe another couple) will be in the area later this month for a bday party. We're looking for a great recommendation for dinner on a Saturday night. Any suggestions? Cheaper or more expensive, either works. We are primarily concerned with great food. Thank you so much!
Chowhound has an active Silverlake contingent so you’ll get great dope by skimming this board. If you NEVER get to Silverlake and want something distinctive from the Westside it’s kind of a choice between the real Silverlake vibe or a a caliber of food that’s not available west of La Brea. My favorite restaurant with non-besotting food is Cliff’s Edge. This patio is about is quintessentially Silverlake as it gets. Swell booze and pretty good appetizers to go with. The service is at perfect pitch and it is such a lovely place to be that it’s almost a relief not to be overly distracted distracted by mere food.
Forage, down the street is the restaurant du jour and up to the moment with its emphasis on local stuff and hippy ethic of bartering for stuff from people’s gardens. The food is very good but prepared in at advance and ordered from a counter. I’d have more affection if the food were a bit more innovative/labor intense and the service a little less self-ish or if the prices were about 25% lower.
Last season’s darling, Babrix isn’t resting on any laurels. Service and menu ultrasmart. Cool setting. Maybe a teense heavy on dead animals. Very grown up but funky enough to be of the neighborhood. Fair priced and designed for sharing and bang for buck.
I like Cha Cha Cha one the early notable joints that landed Siverlake on the culinary map. I date myself by remembering the big scene it was when it opened. The food is fun, as is the setting. Little Dom’s is what my ma used to call an “atmosphere” restaurant, sort of a hybrid of East Coast/Eastside. Lots of different opinions about the food, my own being that it’s generally better than average, and again, an enjoyable place to be.
For superlative food, generally accepted to be less available on the Westside, Thai is pretty obvious and has been discussed on this board ad infinitum, current deserving teacher’s pet Jitlanda but other epiphanies are duly noted in reverential prose.
In a successful fusion of old school Mexican American with a more contemporary lexicon, Malo also has a good neighborhood feel. Particularly of appeal to afficionados of good drinkage and little fried things. There are some more funky and specialized Latin American concerns that probably don’t befit a trip crosstown but if you’re major into regional specialties a search of this board will yield recommendations on all manner of tacos, pupusas and other such delicacies.
Not really Siverlake but just over the Hyperion Bridge in Atwater is Viet Noodle, which is idiosyncratic, and sometimes not real warm. Nevertheless it’s a pleasant place to be with some grad student’s library jammed on the shelf above the communal table. The food is marvelously clean, almost awesomely subtle.
These are my favorites:
Cafe Stella: A French bistro. This may be the best bet (unless that honor goes to Barbrix). The food is always good. The setting is lively and somewhat elegant.
Farfalla: Italian. I've actually never been there in person, but I've had delivery from there countless times. The food is really, surprisingly good. I live in Santa Monica now and Farfalla compares favorably to the numerous Italian restaurants I've tried here.
Marouch: Excellent Armenian and Lebanese. Sometimes the atmosphere is dull. Maybe not the best bet for a birthday party unless you're looking for quiet and downscale, but the food is among the best in Silver Lake.
I haven't been to Barbrix...need to check it out.
A pretty new Thai restaurant specializing in noodles and soup noodles is Wat Dong Moon Lek, I was very happy with the different noodles I've had there. Haven't tried the other stuff yet.
Wat Dong Moon Lek
4356 Fountain Ave Los Angeles, CA 90029
Also second Barbrix for a nicer meal, more of a wine bar feel. I was recently there on a Saturday, and it was packed. People waiting for a table or a seat at the bar, very loud, but still excellent food.
LA Mill serves dinner (menu put together by Providence chef Michael Cimarusti) in addition lunch, etc., has its own parking lot behind the store, and now has a beer & wine license (nice selection of premium sake in addition to beer & wine) yeah! I always get the Arctic char (yum!) and the last time I ate there (mid-Feb) I was able to order a very nice sake to go with it.
Reservoir is 1/2-block from LA Mill and serves “seasonal rustic cuisine”
I’ve only had apps and wine (both tasty) at Reservoir but the menu looks good.
I second almost everything Layne says below (or above ; ), but Little Dom's is hands down my favorite restaurant in Silverlake right now. For a group everyone's Darling Barbrix could be deafening on a Saturday night (unless they have a special spot for groups) and you'd be uncomfortable on the patio, whereas you might be able to have them put you in the "Deli" at Little Dom's or take a big booth and be much happpier there IMHO. Atmosphere AND food are great there, but it's mostly atmo at Cliff's Edge as Layne mentions. The food and atmo are also FABULOUS at LAMILL, don't get me wrong -- you could just have coffee and dessert there after your Silverlake dinner, and really have a total neighborhood experience. Great desserts are hard to come by ; )
I haven't been to Barbrix for a while, but I found the portions small, and prices not really that great compared to somewhere like AOC (which IMHO has better food), and as you say, it's very loud. I went there with a group of 4 once, and we literally couldn't even hear across the table.
It's Silver Lake not Silverlake. In the same way that it's not Losangeles, Sangabrielvalley, etc.
I really the following but... Barbrix feels like you're in WeHo. LAMill feels like a Beverly Hills hotel restaurant. Cliff's Edge has an downtown business crowd.
If you want a Silver Lake crowd I'd opt for Cafe Stella. if you get there early enough there's coffee, gelato, and cheese next store.
That's what I thought of Barbrix -- with prices pretty close to AOC, which is similarly noisy but with really delicious food.........the first people who told me about Barbrix were West Siders, and I live in Silverlake (yes I choose this spelling) They just love finding places over here that give them good food at a good price with nice people everywhere! And I must say that Cafe Stella's food won't hold up to many other places, here or elsewhere. Calfoodie said she was after the food (although it wouldn't hurt to throw in an indigenous experience I'm sure; )
Hello, will47...I agree!
We went to Barbrix last night for dinner. I thought the prices were very high for "small plates."
Some of the portions (the hamachi, the tuna and the grapefruit salad) were scanty for the price of the plate while other portions were a little too plentiful (the farro salad). Since I didn't care for every dish, I ended up eating bread to satisfy my appetite...not so satisfying.
The space is pretty, but the interior is quite noisy. The service felt rushed; they whisked each dish away as quickly as we took our final bite.
We were two, with six plates and one beer...over $60. I much would have preferred an izakaya; even the Korean small plates at Breadbar were more interesting. I would not return to Barbrix.