Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quick Trip to the Reservoir

1700 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Friday evening, before a literary event, we stopped into Reservoir on Silverlake Blvd to check out the new neighborhood spot and to have a quick nosh.

Reservoir is small. If one were to call it a jewel box of a restaurant, one would mean a 1970's jewel box made by your uncle who is an art professor at Humboldt state using all local woods, preferably naturally fallen branches found on the ground during a hike through the Redwood State Park. Dark, homey, thoughtful and comfortable.

I assume this used to be a house from the Craftsman era. It really is a beautiful little spot, with windows lining all the walls. I am glad we got there before the sun went down so you can see how pretty it is to look through all the lovely windows out at this beautiful section of Silverlake.

We arrived at about 6:30 and it was already packed. They do not take reservations, so I was happy we got a spot immediately. We had planned to sit at the bar, have a quick drink and a nibble, however the people at the bar did the thing that many Los Angelenos do when someone is angling for a seat and fail to offer to move their asses over a couple seats so all three of us could sit together. Le sigh. The hostess sat us in an adorable corner with a good vantage for viewing the staff, the patrons and the views out the many windows.

I munched on a warm mushroom salad. This was delicious. A variety of mushrooms sauteed very gently, I am guessing in little olive oil because they did not taste buttery nor were they over sauteed. They still had lots of texture and it was easy to differentiate between the different types of 'shrooms. The greens were also dressed very lightly, with some al dente green beans across the bottom of the salad. I can taste summer already.

D started with the mussels, and we all shared his plate. The mussels were cooked perfectly, soft and easy to chew in a butter/white wine sauce with lots of leeks, garlic and a few chunks of chili pepper. We inhaled the toasted bread after dipping it liberally in the broth.

I love looking at a good broth.

D had an entree. I like the way they offer entrees. They offer maybe half a dozen "set-ups" and about the same number of proteins. So, D ordered the sea scallops well done (what can one do?) with the melted leeks and pureed cauliflower. The pureed cauliflower was rich and light at the same time and he had a hard time keeping me away from the melted leeks. I know I won't have a hard time getting him to come back here for dinner anytime soon. Maybe tomorrow.

C went straight for dessert. She tried the apple tarte tatin, with vanilla bean ice cream and walnut caramel sauce. Not being a desserty person, I ate a few lovely apple slices. She and D were unhappy with the pastry of the tart. They said it was heavy and didn't taste cooked all the way. The ice cream was great....

And this walnut caramel sauce was to die for. I think they might have been happier with the pastry if it had been doused in this sauce.

All in all, if not a completely perfect meal, it was close with the added benefit that Reservoir is close. Service was friendly and efficient, with everyone pitching in to help, serve and comment at all the tables rather than having particular "stations". One never felt they were being handed back to their waitron. I think that feeling is especially important in such small confines. If you are going to be east side, I suggest you stop in for dinner at Reservoir.


Anonymous said...

Isn't "apple tarte tatin" redundant? Tarte Tatin is an apple tart. putting apple in front of it is not on is it?

Food, she thought. said...

Anonymous (natch):

A couple of issues to address here. First would be the menu at Reservoir. You might address this issue with them, being that they labeled this dessert "Apple Tarte Tatin". I am simply employing journalistic accuracy, well, as much as I ever do.

Additionally, the tarte tatin was initially conceived at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron in France in 1898. The word "tatin" refers to the hotel, not the fruit. Although the tarte was initially and traditionally made with apples, Epicurious offers recipes with variations such as peach, pear, quince, plum and more. Therefore, to say "apple tarte tatin" seems neither redundant nor "not on" in the slightest, IMO.

I love a little challenge and doing research is one of my favorite pastimes. Thanks for brightening up my morning.