Saturday, March 21, 2009

FOOD: Lou on Vine

It's always fun to discover a new hidden gem of a restaurant. I'd been hearing about a place called Lou, on Vine, specializing in tasting-size pours of interesting wines, complimented by a farmer's market-inspired weekly-changing menu. (On the radio show Good Food, they've often found the chef, DJ Olsen, at the farmer's market and asked him what he's up to. It's always been mouth-watering.) So when we were looking for dinner after a movie at the Hollywood Arclight, I thought it'd be good to try Lou. I knew it was hidden in a strip mall, but this place is practically a speakeasy. Not only is it in an obscure corner upstaged by a dry cleaner, but they have a simple unlit sign, and they keep the front dark and the curtains drawn, given the place the appearance of being closed. Fortunately, we tried the door, fully expecting to find it locked, and surprised to find it open. Thru the door and pushing aside the curtains reveals a smallish space with a long common table down the middle and rows of banquette tables on either side. There's a blackboard listing the wines being poured (by the bottle, the regular glass, or the "taste") as well as the freshly made sausages, cheeses, and other specials. On one part, there's a chalk map of the US, with arrows pointing to the provenance of the various ingredients. There's also a small bar where you can enjoy wine while waiting for a table (which you should expect to do if you get there past 7pm on a Saturday night). The food was as marvelous as all those wonderfully fresh ingredients promised. I savored a Niman Ranch pork loin over mustard greens with wild mushrooms (chanterelles!) and gnocchi. We'll definitely be back here again.

1 comment:

Geof said...

Sounds cool. Do they take reservations?