Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Local: Think global, eat elsewhere.
Local opened just a few months ago in the former location of an antique shop. The owner was once a cook at Cobras and Matadors and thought that, since the antique business wasn't doing too well, he might as well try his hand at a restaurant. I had actually been there when it was an antique store, and I have to say...
...it was better as an antique store
Local has an interesting set up, since it works basically like a fast food restaurant. You walk inside and order at the counter, then take your number and find a seat, which is offered on the side patio, or out in front on the sidewalk.
You may also get your own salad from the salad bar, but neither Number One Diner Companion Antoinette nor I ordered salads.
We both got coffee, though and were excited by the gargantuan mugs. We took our mugs to the coffee fixin's station and I was impressed to see real simple syrup available. We were sorely disappointed to find the coffee was bitter and had an odd chemical aftertaste.
I ordered a crepe with red bell pepper, sausage, jack cheese and onions. It came with home fries and toast. Now, the home fries were good and no one can ruin toast, short of burning. The crepe was uneven with the top half consisting of nothing but pepper and onions and the bottom being where the sausage and cheese was hiding. Overall it was decent--just decent.
Antoinette ordered the brioche french toast with yogurt and fruit. It was a nice blend of fruit, but terribly bland. Their local supplier definitely picked before the pique of ripeness. The yogurt was fine: unsweeetened and unflavored. The french toast, however, was nearly inedible. I like soggy french toast. I like the bread to have soaked up the batter like the military industrial complex soaks up our national budget. I'm not saying I can't enjoy it if isn't sopping wet, I just have a preference. This french toast was barely 'kissed' by the batter, and the batter it was kissed with was foul. After three bites, Antoinette felt nauseous and gave up.
I attempted to finish my meal, but it was hopeless. We couldn't even force ourselves to gulp down the remaining $3 coffee.
There is really nothing to make me recommend Local. Yes, the idea of local ingredients, farmers market goods, blahblahblah is all well and good, but there are a lot of places that do this already--and do it well. In a world with Auntie Em's, Madame Matisse, and Square 1, there is just no reason to dine Local.
Food: Not so great.
Service: You serve yourself, although they do come around with coffee refills. I doubt anyone takes them up on the offer, though.
Price: Far too expensive. $32.00 for two moderately portioned, barely edible breakfasts and bad coffee. No. Just no.
2943 W. Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Special thanks to our friend Dan Koeppel for the inside information on Local's back story. Visit his website: http://www.bananabook.org