04 November 2006


So it came to me last night that a review of a restaurant isn’t best done in the traditional sense. In the past, the reviewer would visit the restaurant several times and compile his or her visits; sort of a “mean” of the experiences at that particular establishment. Though that tells a statistically accurate story, it doesn’t actually tell the story. What if the restaurant was four stars on Friday and then they burned the toast and dumped the salad in my lap on Sunday? So the mean of the experience would be two stars—but it’s not necessarily a two star restaurant.

This being said, I visited BLD again. I visited last night, so it was to be the first experience of the restaurant for the supper hour. As it was, we decided to visit on a Friday night. My car of hungry diners was running a bit late, so we arrived to our table two minutes before it was ready and on a Friday night, that was a lovely start. Upon first sight our waiter annoyed me. He had no passion in his eyes—“You want some water?” was his opening line to our critical table. We ordered “still” and perused the wine list. Bill handled the wine order, a lovely Grenache from the Rhone Valley. It was nice, “barnyard with some berries” as he put it.

Charcuterie and fromage were on the horizon—and I was put in charge. “Blood sausage” and “cheddar” and “the blue we got last time” were requested, otherwise I did my own biding. The platter arrived once the wine was gone—so another round was ordered. I saw it with my own eyes. The old, empty wine bottle was whisked away and sommelier of the evening nodded as if to say, “My fine man, do not make me use words to tell you that wine and cheese pair nicely together—get on it man—cork another, cork another”.
The bread was warm, the cheese soft (maybe even a little too soft), the charcuterie was rich—our eyes were sparkly.

Here is where it goes down hill. Apparently they ran out of bread—on a Friday night, on the cheese platter—the bread was scarce. Bill suggested that they make some more—but that wasn’t a viable option. So rather they brought us some toast—sourdough! Suddenly the cheese was sour, the blood sausage was sour, even the quince paste was off.

The bottle of water we ordered had emptied, so another was brought. But the wine still hadn’t arrived. Bill stopped our waiter on his way by—“are you pressing the grapes?” he asked. “Oh you want more wine?” Yes, we want more wine. We always want more wine.

The water bottle is taken off of the table and someone tries to fill my glass with LA River water.

Next we hear this from our waiter, “It’s a Friday night and there are people waiting for your table”.

What? We drop a hundred bucks on a cheese platter and you are going to rush me into ordering the next course—our minds roared. Our mouths were clenched tightly shut—but yours truly suggested a revolt. I am after all a Scorpio—and I know actions are louder than words so I suggest we order salads…and split them! My friends play along—and we do and we eat them happily…and slowly.

We finally decided we have tortured them enough, so we split the bill and move on our way. On our way out we muse to the men waiting for our table that they best order steaks to begin and finish with the cheese, otherwise they will be hurried along so that a third a fourth seating will be accommodated at that rare 5 top table.

The food was fine. The service was bad. The result is in the stars.




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