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Jul 20, 2012 08:56 AM

Industriel Last Night

We were looking for a Dine LA venue in downtown that we hadn't yet tried and Industriel seemed to fit the bill. We're glad we went, though we ended up ordering off the regular menu.

The food was great, the service was excellent and we are keen to go back. Looking over the regular menu we realized that to order a starter and a main course was less expensive than the Dine LA menu , if we didn't also order, or even if we simply shared a dessert. ($30 compared with $35.) Neither of us are big dessert eaters and the regular menu had a lot more choices on it, so that's what we went with.

We had a bowl of the soup of the day - a potato, roasted garlic soup with slivered almonds and Thai basil leaves. It was delicious, though the basil leaves seemed a bit superfluous. If I had been sprinkling some sort of fresh herb in there it would have probably been a bit of rosemary, or even shredded Italian basil instead of the Thai. We also had the kale salad, which was one of the better kale salads we've ever had, the bacon (which they cure themselves) dressing was perfect and just the right amount of smoky porkiness.

We had a plate of the "Daily Bread" and that wasn't really anything particularly special. It was four slices of an okay, if unremarkable, baguette and some sort of olive foccaccia - neither was any better than you can buy in any number of stores around town and at $3 per order the next time around we'll skip it.

For a main course I had the PELMINI, rabbit, shiitake, mascarpone, pearl onions, sage, truffle oil, pecorino and it was superb. You could taste the individual ingredients perfectly and there was also an additional blended flavor that was great. Just smelling the dish when it arrived - with the truffle oil - was a delight. The gf had the duck and it was delicious and the accompaniments were perfect. It was, perhaps, cooked a little more rare than she would have preferred it - being nearly chewy in a couple of bites. But the flavor couldn't be faulted.

Our waitress, who was one of the better waitresses we've had anywhere and I feel really awful that I can't recall her name, recommended a new wine that they were pouring - a Cabernet Franc. At $12 per glass or $48 per bottle we went for a bottle and it perfectly complemented the meal.

In all, an excellent meal and also the sound level in the restaurant, though loud enough to seem somewhat festive, was still low enough that we could actually have a comfortable conversation.

The one complaint was the chairs. They were very comfortable but they were very low in relation to the table. The girlfriend and I are about average height (she is 5'6" and I'm 5'11") and we felt like little kids. We needed phone books or something to sit on. Perhaps whoever bought the combination tables and chairs is either very tall or has an extremely long torso. But everything else was so good that it is a minor quibble.

It is a little odd that it bills itself as French / Provencal. It seemed more French with a bit of Russian thrown in, which was nice for a change.

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  1. Sounds (and looks great on their website) wonderful, although I hate uncomfortable seating. You would think that ending up with chairs so low you felt like you were back in elementary school in an adult body just wouldn't happen if anyone was paying attention when the tables and chairs were being selected.

    I notice on their dinner menu that they are offering "faux" foie. Did you see that or find out what it was?

    Thanks for your very complete and excellent review. If we get downtown this place will be high on our list to try.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      I was curious about the faux gras but didn't see any and wasn't in the mood to order it. Maybe next time.

      I don't get the chair thing. If I were to open a restaurant I'd get a variety of people of all shapes and sizes to sit at the different tables and chairs I was thinking of using before making up my mind. Oh well, I liked it more than enough to make up for the odd angle at which I had to position my arms to eat.

      1. re: Servorg

        Sorry for the two-plus week bump to this thread, but friends of ours went to the restaurant this weekend, really enjoyed it, and recommended it to us, so naturally I started researching and came across this thread and also across a mixed review from Squid Ink: According to that review, "'faux' gras" is just regular duck liver. I'm finding out what my friends got and what they enjoyed. Sounds interesting...

      2. The french toast fingers at breakfast are quite addictive.

        1. Their Braised Goat sandwich served during lunch is delicious.

          1. tho the downstairs seating leaves much to be desired, the upstairs is an entirely different atmosphere, complete with plush arm chairs. the octopus was decent, great flavor, gnocchi was decadently cheesy, not your traditional kind. unfortunately, the steak we had ordered med rare came out med well to well done. to overcook it by that much is a gigantuous no-no, and i had no choice but to kindly ask that they cook a new one. overall, the food was decent to very good...left me open to try it again in the future yet not quite good enough to warrant a 2nd visit anytime soon.

            1. estone888: Thanks for posting this review. We're excited to check out INDUSTRIEL tonight!