Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Dorkbar aka Corkbar

What an terrible experience. Well the company was fabulous. But this so called winebar, well not so called, it is. Anyways, what a lame, overpriced, snooty lame waiters and poorly poured wine place this was.

So my bf and his bro and his wife and I all had plans to go to the Clippers game. I was very excited because I have never been to a Clippers game my whole life! And how could this be considering I have been an Angeleno resident my whole life. So off we went. We all love food and drinks so we wanted to go somewhere before the game. Especially since the options at the Staples Center are less than appealing (except for Nate n Al's which I have yet to experience).

I was reading about Corkbar and told them about it, but was secretly wanting to go back to Casa for their Saturday happy hours. But no Corkbar was in walking distance so we decided it would be better.

So we walked. To the Corkbar. And entered. Sat down. Then I met the waitress. Oh man. She first started the conversation by saying to excuse her Ipod, that is how the waiters input the order to the kitchen, and that she is not ignoring us or playing on it. First off, what a stupid way to start a conversation with your clients. I definatly believe in server ettiquite and this was not a correct way to start off our new relationship. Immediatly I was put off. This was not helped by the menu I was looking at either. It was about 20 5x12" pages stuck to a wood piece going vertical. So here I was going through all of them. I mean I totally understand we are at a wine bar, but I do prefer not having to search for my food menu.

Once we ordered and started recieving our food and drinks, it only got worse. When ordering our drinks, our waitress complimented half of the tables order. I would understand one person, but come on! Also no helpful advice was given to us. She was definatly way to young to understand anything about good food and wine...and felt like a transplant from kansas or something because she felt completely out of place.

Then the drinks arrived. Two of us ordered glasses of wine. We were SHOCKED when we got them. The pour was great, if we had ordered a bottle of wine for the table. But for a $12 glass of wine, the pour was tiny, miniscule, and sad. Definatly a good way to get the customer to feel ripped off. Now let me say this, I am not a know it all when it comes to wine, but I am surronded by family members my whole life are. They have discussed literally for the past 5 years what a pour should look like. So I think I know too. Lets just say that if my sister had come with me, the manager would have definatly been at our table to fix this wrong doing in under 5 minutes.

So then our food comes out. For some sharing items we got the bean puree and mac and cheese. OH MAN OH MAN are they serious?! So the bean puree was actually a bean puree on a tiny teeny crostini on a HUGE white plate surronded in olive oil dripple that was there purley for show. Yes the bean puree with truffle oil crostini was good, but it had truffle oil so gimme me a break. Its really not that hard to mess up a bean puree with truffle oil, but they did by the insulting presentation.

On the other hand, the Mac and Cheese was delicious. Definatly the best thing we had all night due to the fact that it had delicoius pasillo peppers in it. It was served in a two serving ramekin and was devoured by all. The other food we ordered was good, but definatly not perfected yet. We had ordered the chaucterie sandwhich, which came with delicous salami, arugula, onions but on a HUGE bagette, which soon turned into an open face sandwhich. This is what really gets me. Why don't people understand about the meat and bread ratio! It really is not that difficult since we have all been eating sandwhiches since we were two years old!!!

On a good note, they did have a fun and nice decor with a good atmosphere.

Overall this restuarant was a huge failure in my eyes. I would never go back unless dragged. Next time I will be at the Staples Center, maybe ill just stick with my lagers and try that good ol Nate n Al's.

Go home corkbar, you overpriced, poorly plated, stupid Ipod serving lame excuse for a wine bar.

So we looked

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Varnish

It was like transporting back in time. 

It was late on thursday and the streets were dark.  We entered Cole's French Dip and walked to the back.  We entered through a slightly ajar dark wood door.  The door had only a little martini glass drawing on it to signify, this is it, we are about to enter The Varnish.

As so we entered.  The place was dimly lit.  Dark wood lining the walls, the bar, the tables with booths.  We were greeted by a tall young gentleman who was definitely easy on the eyes.  He told us we would have to wait for an available table but it should not be more than 5 min.  So we stood at the bar taking everything in.  The atmosphere was amazing.  Very relaxed feeling with the feeling that a small jazz band should be in the corner.

Then we were taken to our booth.  We took a look at the menu and got the feeling that the cocktail was back.  The menu had about 8 drinks and one of the choices was the bartenders choice.   So we ordered, all four of us, off the menu, I getting the bartenders choice.

It did take a while for us to get our drinks, but again we were there the third day they were open.  But once we got them, I feel in love with everyone of them.  They gave me a brown derby, with lemon and honey.  The flavors were so distinct but melded together in harmony, each giving away to the other.  My friends Hot Buttered Rum was definitely buttery, with a warm rum center.  I have never tasted anything like it.  It was a party in my mouth.  The mint julep had a distinctive center on the mint.  Its cooling nature worked well with heating nature of the alcohol.  It was superb, if you like your mint.

We only had one round of drinks due to the time it took them to make our order, but I still LOVED the Varnish.  I have previously been to Milk and Honey, their semi counterpart in NYC and fell in love with it over there.  So once I had heard they were opening, I had to go right away.  So now its my favorite bar in LA.  Hopefully I will go back this weekend.  But now I know as Jonathan Gold has just written, the cocktail era is here, and I could not be happier!

The Varnish  
18 E. 6th St
Downtown LA, CA
Jonathan Gold's Article on The Varnish

Name Change!

I have changed my blog name to something that is more, well ME!!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Night out at Casa and The Varnish

So Casa and The Varnish on Thursday. What an awesome way to spend a bland ol boring thursday.

So I am almost 25 and I have been feeling that my youth is slipping though my fingers. Just between school, my work and midterms, I feel like I am not living my life as a 24 year old should be. So I decided to do something about it.

We start our night at Casa, which peter and I take the metro, cause we are so retro. The restuarnt is VERY cool inside. They have this whole circle motif and we get seated in one of the bigger once where we get a booth! I loooove booths!

Its a easy going night, so we share a pitcher of Sangria for $15 (the happy hour/late night specials were not available yet). The sangria was delcious with wine and some kind of hard A, i forget which one. We also order the pastor tacos and the Ceasar Salad. The tacos come in hand made tortillas but are BIG portions, which I always appreciate! The salad was large and deliocus. It came out as whole romaine leaves, which I just cut up to look like a normal salad.

Everything was delicous. I would totally go here again, especially maybe for my upcoming bday!!

The Varnish

My friend came to meet us at Casa before we all went to the Varnish to meet up with our other friend. Thankfully we did not have to walk all the way to Cole's...not like that was ever the idea.

Anyways, we get to Coles and see a doorman and assume its the right place. We get in, its a cool bar with awesome music, comfy lounge areas and a old school drinking menu. Again still assume its the right place. But its not. Its the Ambassador that is next to Cole's. But we hang out anyways, order our fruffy drinks, that are delicious. But then go to the real story.

Once we enter Cole's we go to the back room, through the door with the martini glass on it.

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