Wednesday, August 09, 2006

FOOD: Cliff's Edge in Silver Lake

We finally got a chance to try Cliff's Edge in Silver Lake. A neighbor had put us on to it, otherwise we would have missed this restaurant entirely, despite passing by it often. It is completely hidden behind a 99-cent store and has no street signage. Those in the know just pull into the unmarked parking lot, leave the car with a valet, walk through the door in the back, and are transported into a completely unexpected tropical patio. The setting is dominated by a huge fig tree in the center, surrounded by bamboo, and with tables scattered along wooden platforms at various levels built into a slope. The patio is open in the center, but along the edges the platforms are covered with tin roofing, and many of the tables have pillow-strewn banquette-style seating. Picture the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse redecorated by Pottery Barn (plenty of candles and hip lighting).

We were pleased to discover that the quality of the California-Italian fare matched the amazing atmosphere. The menu presented many intriguing choices, with Italian headings and ingredients, but the meat and fish dishes outnumbered the pasta offerings. I started with a salad of mandolin-thin slices of apple and endive, light and perfectly balanced with gorgonzola and walnuts. My main course was herb-encrusted lamb chops with horseradish, perfectly cooked, and complimented with a savory ratatouille and a light potatoes au gratin. George was quite happy with his black cod with chopped black and green olives, over fennel and with roasted asparagus. Mom raved about her pumpkin ravioli with kale, and my niece had the most perfectly prepared piece of Alaskan cod that I was lucky enough to get a sample of.

We'll definitely be heading back there again. You can find this marvelous place at 3626 Sunset, a block or two east of Hyperion, but keep it to yourself. This trendy place is hard enough to get into as it is.

No comments: