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Restaurants & Bars 6

Akasha with Mom

aliris | Apr 23, 200810:34 PM

Following suggestions that steered us toward Culver City, Visiting Mom (VM) chose Akasha for its style and great-looking deserts. OK, I influenced the choice because of the "Green" bent. Style-wise, I was amused to note that they had ripped out the ceiling of the formerly highly-finished San Gennaro to *similate* a warehouse. These sorts of affectations irk me, but the bottom line is, I support eating local food and organic production thereof, so even fashion-statements to this affect are support-worthy.

And I must say, affectation aside, the food was *yummy*. I had a black lentil and pumpkin seed burger, VM had the turkey burger. Each of us preferred her own entree; the turkey burger was too piquant for my taste, but VM was delighted with it. If you like pimentos, you will be thrilled with this production. The turkey burger was like a turkey meatloaf; very flavorful with added (mostly pimento) taste-inclusions. The lentil burger was just wonderful; perfect texture and delicious flavor - dark but not heavy. Somehow very filling and yet I finished the second half of the thing I'd been planning on taking home, it was that good!

The lentil burger came with a side of salad that was surprisingly boring. "Light" was probably the goal they were aiming for, but you can create light without being tasteless. There was a lot of sliced endive, which was nice. The trouble was the baby greens which just were not terribly flavorful. I am surprised by this as organic salad mixes from the farmer's markets are usually very tasty; this OTOH tasted more like the packaged stuff from TJ's which is just plain boring. You could tell they were trying, there was some salt in there, but it's hard to overcome subpar ingredients. I would bet that salad mix was not "local"!

VM's side of sweet potato fries, OTOH, were stellar. The best I've had, though that's an admittedly small pool of comparison. Very crispy on the outside and inside buttery-creamy: just melted away. I believe they were nominally a ginger coating, which I couldn't make out as such, but probably contributed to their overall perfection. Wow those things were good!

Someone in a previous post mentioned the service. I would like to agree that our server was a hugely pleasant fellow, somehow managing to convey interest and concern while staying mostly absent -- in fact, come to think of it, he was really gone from the background except on basically every occasion when he was needed, when he appeared immediately. Quite a trick on reflection. Very impressive, especially from a newly-opened trendoidal place. It was very lovely.

My only complaint was very specific to our needs; it was not quiet. This is not really the restaurant's fault (although all that bare ceiling they created can't be good for dampening sound and I remember the space's former occupant as being exceptionally quiet). We knew what we were getting into, but the din did contribute to a slightly-less-than-perfect overall experience. Just a word of warning, not complaint I guess.

Bottom line: highly recommended. Burgers were $14 each. Cupcakes (which I passed along untried to the pups who expressed zero reserve!) *looked* fantastic and were $3.50 per. I noticed a couple different ginger beers in the desert case which I believe have their following among the Surfas crowd. I imagine this will go over big among take-out foodies.

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