A summer evening on Cliff's Edge patio is pretty magnificent. Well-spaced tables, moderately dim lighting, the low burble of fellow diners conversing. Like being invited to a low-key, private party in the backyard of somebody's mansion.
Service, from the hostess to the waitress to the tres Francais manager, is prompt, pleasant, unobtrusive. Decent martinis.
But the chow. To paraphrase Paul Simon: All the food comes back to me in shades of mediocrity.
Starters are not bad. Almond encrusted goat cheese on a bed of mixed greens is, in fact, delicioso. Calamari, a little heavy on the batter, is also fine.
Mains, most of which fall into the $12-$25 range, are chintzy. Your humble reporter gets the orzo-stuffed quail, served on a bed of flaccid, wilted spinach. Large swaths of empty white plate dwarf the two microscopic birds, possibly harvested on the island of Lilliput. A bit overcooked, not terrible, but even Gary Coleman would not have been satisfied with the portion.
Mrs rabo gets the lake superior whitefish, which is drowning in some sort of oily looking sauce. Guest #1, the seared ahi filet (served alongside four strands of anorexic broccolini). Guest #2, pork chops (which actually gets raves). 3 out of 4 shrugging, still hungry diners.
Desserts ordered are....*yawn*...flourless chocolate cake and creme brulee. To my surprise, both are quite good.
So, solidly middling. Worth another visit, if only to experience that phenomenal patio (warning: inside doesn't have half the appeal of outside). Other than BLAIR's, Silverlake has a paucity of establishments that can really balance terrific atmosphere and terrific food. Better than EDENDALE GRILL, but CLIFF'S EDGE doesn't quite cut it.
3626 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Cross Street: Edgecliffe Drive
Brunch: Sat-Sun 11am-3pm
Resto has no sign. It is directly North/West of the 99 cent store.
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