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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Local: Flavor Wanted

Why does organic have to taste so bland? Local in Silver Lake prides itself in serving, well, local food that's good for you -- organic, etc. The online menu looked so promising, filled with items like pork belly with apples and wilted spinach and osso bucco style braised pork shank on brioche. Well, I was sorely disappointed. The semi-outdoor seating and vibe were great, but the food sucked!

I had the artichoke and goat cheese croquettes, which sounded great on paper and tasted just ok on execution. I liked that it came with a green salad to balance out the heaviness from the deep fried goodies. The creamy crab croquettes at Shinsengumi Shabu Shabu were far better, if we were to compare with other Japanese-style venues (our waiter told us the chef came from Matsuhisa -- too bad it didn't show).

Then came the main course, "Japanese-style" osso bucco pork with garlic fries. I was expecting tender as buttah but the pork was hard, a total disappointment. The marinade was sweet and salty, ala teriyaki -- hence the "Japanese-style" moniker -- but it was far too sweet and not salty enough. The garlic fries were fine but they had already lost me at bland.

I also tried the albondigas burger, a pork burger made in the tradition of Mexican meatballs, and fried yams as a side. The burger was bland again and no amount of queso fresco sprinkled on top could give it the flavor it deserved. The fried yam wedges were fine. They weren't particularly crispy but I'm partial to yam or sweet potato fries so I still enjoyed them, dipping them in the creme fraiche provided.

I have to lament, I have yet to like a restaurant in Silver Lake. I liked canele, but that's in Atwater Village, right?

I welcome any suggestions. I need flavor!

One thing I didn't like about the service was that same old practice of giving us the bill before we ask for it. Don't do it. It's a REAL turnoff, especially if there isn't a line of people clamoring to get a table. It's BYOB so bring your fave booze. Parking on the street was easy.

2943 W. Sunset Blvd.
(323) 662-4740

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