I'm a new Beachwood transplant, fresh off the boat from 3rd/Crescent Heights, and getting to know my new neighborhood haunts. This weekend, the taste test fury landed at Birds on Franklin, part of that congested little line known as "The Stretch".
Place: Birds, Saturday 9/24 8 PM
Myself + 1 guest
Ratings in brief:
Ambiance - C+
Service - B-
Food (Taste) - C
Food (Presentation) - C
Wine/Drinks - C+
Price - B+
Overall Experience - B-
There's nothing inheriently wrong with Birds - and that's coming from a non-chicken-chowhound, so consider it high praise. For a neighborhood dive, this place is divine. It's got a homey diner appeal with a smidge more upscale flair - and a nice red glow, which I adore, since we all look more youthful and flawless under such lighting. There's a sense of humor dangling on every last wall here too - funny signs on the doors (Employees and George Clooney only), and very friendly bartenders. This is also a spot with hordes of regulars - but as a rule, from what I can spy, they sit at the bar. Duly noted.
The service was swift and non-descript - the usual for this pad (this wasn't my first visit since moving to the 'hood). Birds is a no-nonesense no-frills kinda place, reflected in every last detail; including the menu. They're famous for their rotisserie chicken, but since I think such cuisine is foul (OK, bad pun - but the sentiment stays!), I didn't sample the goods. Other companions of mine have, however, so first, I'll give a rundown of my most recent meal, and next, I'll list of other experiences.
Drinks - they have a full bar (with excellent happy hour selections, I might add) - but nothing special outside of the laid-back friendliness.
No bread basket or extra goodies. Wah.
I had the Summer Salad, half order, which is massive. This consists of mixed greens, feta, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and pine nuts, all with raspberry vinegarette (graciously served on the side). Not a bad combo of flavors, but no Wow factor. Served with a bland piece of french bread.
Guest had the famous chicken, white meat, with a french sauce (you select your cut of bird and can choose from dipping sauces + sides). She loved her meal - raved at how moist and flavorful the meat was, and the sauce as well.
I had garlic mashed potatoes. A bit watery, but with chunks of tater, so I know they weren't instant, just not very good (and where the garlic was hiding, I'm not exactly sure).
Guest had steamed veggies - nothing special there, but they weren't over-cooked, which deserves a huge Hooray.
No dessert tonight - haven't yet sampled their sweet stuff (shameful, I know).
Total (minus alcohol + tip) was just $22. Hot damn.
Other items I can vouch for -
My favorite is the Mexican Shrimp Roll-Up - served on lavash bread, with a spicy jalapeno sauce, blackened shrimp (biggish suckers, not the rock variety), pepper-jack, and veggies, this puppy is a tasty specimen.
Cold pasta salad - a standard, and rather blah here - no dill kick, no lemony goodness, just olive oil/pasta tastes. Eh.
Curly fries - nice consistency, but with no spice/flavor, they just ring as "average". And they needed salt in a big way.
I guess it really is all about the Birds. I therefore can't accuse them of false advertising.
Go here for a quick drink before a theater show (the beloved Tamrind Theater is next door) or for dive-chow if you're in the 'hood. But there's nothing 'Houndish worth treking over for (and dealing with the abhorent parking sitch).
5925 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Ciao, 'Hounds -