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Arax, Traxx---The Facts

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Restaurants & Bars 7

Arax, Traxx---The Facts

rabo encendido | Feb 28, 2005 11:29 AM

SATURDAY LUNCH: FALAFEL ARAX

I think it was russkar that first steered me to this
puny, broom closet of a place, serving up the freshest
and crispiest falafel in the Southland. Stopped in on
Saturday for some Love, Armenian Style: a tongue
sandwich.

Served on a French roll with plenty of silky tongue
morsels and a little tahini, this lovely thing is
subjected to a good five minutes in a hot press just
prior to serving. The exterior is a rich, brown color,
the interior is a soft, molten heaven. Every bite has
an explosive, shattering crunch. Totally delicious,
but not a good thing to eat in your car.

I really love this place. Friendly folks, everything
I've had there is good. Even the pickled turnips are
fresh and muscular, a deep purple, not the wimpy,
wilting mini-stalks served up in your neighborhood
schwarma joint.

SATURDAY DINNER: TRAXX

Thank you to all Hounds who responded to my "Night out
in Glendale-Pasadena-Downtown" query. I've got a great
list for future forays. We decided on Traxx.

Located in the cavernous front hall of Union Station,
it's split up into two parts: a small bar on the
immediate right upon entry, the restaurant further up
on the left. Restaurant has a courtyard, its own
interior, and a section where tables spill out on to
the main floor of the station. We opt for this last
area for optimum people watching.

Food is a disappointing mixed bag, and largely tepid,
due to the bumbling service. Softball-sized crab cakes
(with plenty of crab) are unfortunately encased in a
heavy, super-bread-y coating a la Van de Kamp's.
Miso-marinated Hangar steak is overcooked,
over-sauced; Muscovy duck is tough, chewy (but served
with a dollop of a tasty, purplish risotto); lamb
chops are good, but sided with a squash concoction
that my SO declares inedible. Caesar salad, cream of
bell pepper soup, halibut entree: all declared
unremarkable, but passable.

BUT---the deal here is the unique locale. Union
Station is stunning, and it's real damned cool to sit
right there in the lobby, sip a martini, enjoy good
conversation, admire the view. Despite the relative
swing-and-a-miss food, a nice venue for a slightly
boozy round of catching up with old friends. Perhaps
next time, we'll just hit the bar.

Falafel-Arax
(323) 663-9687
5101 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029

Traxx Restaurant
(213) 625-1999
800 N Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(Valet park at the station. 2 hours free with
restaurant validation)

=====
Eric

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