30 November 2006

BLD Redux Redux

I am really very sorry for my absence. I'm not usually such a flake (ask anyone--except for everyone that I've recently flaked on, bien sur). I am not out partying--nor am I insanely busy with work. Frankly, I'm writing a book and I'm plum writed out! But my friend PoMoTrash has become my guest blogger. He was one of the guests at the table upon my second trip to BLD--he is now writing his own review of the joint.




It struck me that after TT's not-so-rave reviews of one of LA's newest eateries I ought to do a bit more research to add to her arsenal. I was making my way back east after making a quick trip to the Schindler House on Kings Road to take in the GenHome exhibition and needed something to silence the angry mob in my stomach.

Fortunately BLD was on my home-bound trajectory and I popped in for a look at the luncheon fare.

My last dinner at BLD was in the company of TT herself and we notably had about the same experience- one that was not quite bad, but not quite good either. However, a brunch in September had been quite acceptable so I felt that another examination was in order.

After sitting at the bar (the restaurant was packed and there was a wait), I noticed a serious problem: The fucking stools are too low for the bar. OR more appropriately, the bar is too fucking high. A seemingly small detail for many, being 5'-10" and not 6'-3" I find it annoying that so many restaurateurs miss this important detail. Word to the masses- If the bar hits you in the upper chest when you are seated and your shoulders seem out of alignment, the bar is too high.

This detail haunted me throughout the meal and thus may have negatively influenced my experience. However, at the time I was determined to make the most of my lunch and ordered a Prosecco to start things off. After meandering through the menu for awhile I settled on an American classic: Ham and cheese. Except rather than the gooey norm served up at "ye ol' diner", my sandwich was to be assembled with Serrano ham and Manchego cheese, with a touch of red pepper sauce enriched with a dash of mustard seed, all packed into a warm chibatta bread and served with frites ($12.00).

So considering the Euro's position against the dollar, basically what you'd find at a Denny's in Spain.

I felt that this would be an apt way to test out BLD's abilities as the causal eatery it aspires to be and keep me away from the heavy bits on the menu (I still had work in the afternoon). As I sipped my Prosecco (not bad for $7.00) I surveyed the crowd. All seemed to be that breed of Angelino, who like myself are self-employed, and can afford to take two hours for lunch every day. That's not to say that BLD's staff wasn't attentive. My server, who also was the bartender, seemed to be at the peak of cocaine high couldn't stop moving things around the bar. She also was constantly asking if "everything was O.K." which a steady glare over the top of my book temporally curtailed. This break in the maelstrom of hospitality enabled me to get about 3.5 minutes of uninterrupted reading in before I was barraged again.

"If only my food would get here", I thought.

My food finally came, and while I debated ordering another Prosecco (I abstained) the "bartender from hell" asked me if everything was alright with my meal, despite me not having taken a bit e of it yet. I nodded and dug into what ended up being a very dry, but tasty ham and cheese chibatta. You see this is the problem with chibattas and paninis- the heat sucks most of the moisture out of the contents leaving with you something that closely resembles a warm Serrano ham and Manchego cheese brick.

I guess that's what the red pepper sauce is for.

Overall I was satiated, though the frites were a bit dry (Café Stella still has the best). At my request I was given some mayonnaise to douse my frites in and it seemed homemade, which was a treat. In fact, I'd say that the mayonnaise was the best part about the meal, the norm these days being the clotted stuff that usually graces school cafeterias.

After topping my meal off with an espresso (grounds included, yuck!) I applied a beady-eyed "I want to leave…NOW!" stare to my coked up bartender, paid the bill ($22.00), and departed, full but hardly satisfied.

My closing advice about BLD solo- Avoid the bar. Stick to the cheese plate, the crab hash, or the normal brunch fare. And for the sandwiches, stay home.



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