Cardinale Kitchen (Melrose at Vine)
This place has opened up in the old Popeye's next to Mario's at Melrose and Vine. I've eaten there a couple of times and I think it's a quality addition to the neighborhood. They serve an interesting mix of Argentinian (Argentine?), Italian, and home-style American (e.g., meatloaf) food. Most of the menu is pre-made casserole kinds of stuff, which allows for quick service, but keep that in mind if you're turned off by food that's not made to order. I think everything there is under $10.
I don't eat meat, so my semi-review is limited in that regard, but the non-meat items have been good. I most like their empanadas ($1.75 ea.). The spinach are good, but the onion and cheese are very good. They apparently saute the onions in wine, which I was not expecting from a place that's virtually a fast food joint. The (not very green) chimichurri that they give you with the empanadas is quite tasty as well.
The food's not destination fare and it's not trying to be. But if you live in the area or drive by on your commute, it's a good area alternative to Tere's, Cactus, or AstroBurger when you want something quick (or take-out) and relatively low-priced. Plus, Cardinale tends towards the "real food" end of the spectrum, so it might be a good choice if you want home cooked food, but don't want to actually cook.
Also in that area are of course Lou Wine Bar and Flaming Patty's in that mini-mall on Vine just north of Melrose.
Any input on Patty's? I know and have tried Lou, but FP I do not know, other than it has been there for quite some time.
Really like Tere's.
720 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038