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Restaurants & Bars Los Angeles Area

Jar - Report

Jon Leventhal | | Feb 21, 2002 12:15 PM

Finally got around to trying this place this week. Called for reservation in afternoon, told they only had 6:45 or 7:00 (wanted 7:30). Made 7:00 pm, but we didn't arrive until 8:00. Restaurant half full. Asked hostess if she could seat us - no problem.

Restaurant is noisy - so much so that the waiter mishears my order. Also, have a really hard time hearing my dining companion. However, by the time we leave the restaurant is packed. Nice to see a full restaurant at 9:30 in LA.

Service is efficient and friendly.

Food is American comfort cuisine. I had Pork Belly - which is basically like soggy, fatty bacon. I don't know why critics are raving about this dish. Also had fried clams which were very tasty - crisp, light, nice clam flavor - not the usual rubbery strips of clam.

I had the NY strip on the bone. While it had buttery texture and wonderful mineral flavor, it was overwhelmed by peppercorn crust and had no crust. In fact, it looked sorta grey with a couple of char marks from the grill. It was also thin - 3/4-1 inch thick. It did not taste like a $29 steak.

Companion had pot roast. I made this dish at home a couple weeks ago, tasted virtually the same. My sauce was not quite as intense. I hadn't made pot roast before-probably won't again. I'm not a huge fan of stewed/braised beef.

Sides were potato gratin and creamed spinach. Both were totally undersalted. After requesting some salt, both tasted solid, if unexceptional.

We shared chocolate pudding for desert. Nice version.

Overall, the food tasted a lot like stuff I can make at home. $180 w/wine seems a bit stiff for this kind of food. While I enjoyed my evening, I don't think I'll be returning soon unless someone else is picking up the tab.