lil mikey | Apr 4, 200204:26 PM     23

If you were to draw a culinary map of the greater LA area, it would likely have a color code ranging from blue (for nowhere to eat) to red (for lots of good places). On such a map would be the fine township of Westchester. And the color of Westchester would definitely be blue. Okay okay, I know, there's In-n-Out and Alejo's and Pacos, and some other places, but overall I think you'd agree that Westchester is not a destination for chowhounds.

And so it was that I found myself in Westchester last night (Wednesday), wondering where I could eat. Before leaving work, I considered asking the hound family for suggestions, but alas, I ran out of time before I had to meet my dad for dinner. As he was traveling from Santa Monica to Orange County, we decided on the Buggy Whip on La Tijera just west of the 405.

I arrived at about 6pm, and saddled up to the bar. There was just one guy sitting there. I ordered the usual… a cold Corona and a shot of Patron.

A little time passed, and dad showed up, so we were seated. On this particular evening they were only seating in the extended bar area, as there weren’t many patrons. At 38 years old, I was easily the youngest person in the restaurant, including the wait staff; and of the 12 or so tables that were filled, 3 were occupied solely by people roughly double my age.

The booths in both this extended bar area, as well as the large dining room are red leather, and you can smell roasting prime rib throughout the place. The menu has a wide selection of meat, fish and chicken. The prices range from about $18 to about $28 per entrée.

I had the Napolean of sea bass with a tomato coulis, while my dad had the rack of lamb. Napolean sea bass, I learned by asking the waitress, is sliced sea bass stacked in an offset fashion on top of itself.

Each entrée came with a salad, some steamed cabbage and choice of potato or rice. The salads came with WAY too much dressing. I think there are two camps when it comes to dressing. Those that get a salad because it’s something they can put their dressing onto, and those that get some dressing because it’s something they can put on their salad. I fall into the latter category, so this was not a good thing for me. The green goddess dressing was good, but I would have settled for roughly half of what they gave me.

There was a nice basket of warm bread and muffins that was provided along with the salads. It was very good.

The entrees were good, but nothing really outstanding. The fish tasted fresh, and the tomato coulis had some nice spicing in it. The rack of lamb was well presented, and my dad seemed to like it.

About half way through dinner, a guy sat down at the piano, and started playing and singing. I think he’s the regular entertainment there, but I don’t know which nights he works in addition to Wednesday. There was a certain coziness to the whole evening, what with the red leather, the guy serenading the old people and the comfort food.

While it’s not really what I consider a Chowhound destination, it may be worth a visit if you’re ever in the blue zone they call Westchester.

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