Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blue Star--Downtown LA - Closed

Blue Star is located in a sketchy-ass industrial zone just south of downtown Los Angeles. On this particular day getting from my work to the restaurant--which should have just been a straight shot down Alameda and then left on 15th--took forever due to the insane number of 18- wheelers and scrap metal pick-ups seemingly patrolling the streets.

I knew they closed at 3pm and I arrived at 2:45. After going through the harrowing ordeal of traffic, construction detours and double parked semis, when I saw the "CLOSED" sign in the window, I was livid.

"I'm going in!" I said to myself...out loud. That's how mad I was--I was talking to myself. Have I mentioned how much I hate traffic and driving in general?

I looked at the hours posted next to the door--yep, 3pm. It was not yet 3pm, what was up with the giant closed sign in the window? Did they even know what I went through to get here? I pulled open the door and was ready to tear it up. The two women at the table near the door looked up at me, like they knew I was about to unleash hell. Then a dude told me to sit anywhere I wanted. My ire now taken away, I quietly skulked to a table. At least they were willing to honor the posted hours.

Blue Star has been around for a few years now, but it seems like a design concept never coalesced. It's sparsely decorated; in fact, I think the only thing hanging on the walls that isn't a neon sign or a flatscreen tv, are some hubcaps. It's like a decorator said, "Hey these will look cool here" and called it a day.

They also serve beer and wine, which I found very strange for a place that closes at 3pm. What's the point--unless they are going for a hardcore mid-day drinker base?

I ordered a coffee, which was disgusting and tepid. They were closing and had clearly given up on this product sometime ago. I would have said something, but both employees disappeared into the back and by the time they returned, I was over it.

The menu was sort of torture for me. Some of the breakfasts sounded delicious, but they stop serving them at 11am. The lunch and dinner menu (again, they close at 3pm. "Dinner?") is pretty uninspiring. I asked my waitress which sandwich she recommended between the BBQ Chicken and the Chicken Pesto. She said the BBQ, so I went with that.

I was not expecting much. The coffee had set such an awful precedent that if they had brought me a chicken neck drenched in Heinz 57 on two slices of store-brand bread, I would have not been surprised. Ultimately, this sandwich was really, really good. The BBQ sauce was a good mix of tangy and sweet and the fried onions were a nice touch. My only critique would be that the chicken was a little thin. The french fries were like the best non-greasy fast-food style fries I've had in awhile. Worth $10.50? No.

I finished my meal and left. I was the last person inside who didn't work there. After I walked out, the waiter flipped the sign in the window over to "Open." He just hadn't paid attention to which way the sign was facing.

It all seemed very lackluster and I can see no reason to go back to Blue Star. There was no experience to be had and the price and the hours would definitely keep me away.

Food: Good.
Price: $9-$16.
Service: Okay.
Pie: None.

Blue Star Diner
2200 E 15th St
Los Angeles

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