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Restaurants & Bars 5

Cliff's Edge (redux) - Silver Lake

Silver Lake Guy | May 27, 200512:52 PM

Had a friend in town for one night who wanted to try something "Silverlake-ish" so the SO and I took him to Cliff's Edge. I, in particular, was kinda iffy about the place since we had been once before about 3-4 months back and while we enjoyed the sea-jungle patio (an upscale tribute to Gloria's from the past?), our party of 4 picked up a borderline negative vibe and got a little 'tude from the slooooooow waitress. At that time, the food had potential but I kept my socks on, so wasn't in a rush to go back. Now, since we had been hearing occasional knockout moments at the place, we thought we'd bring our friend.

Well, the 'tude was still there a bit, expanding to the hostess who looked over the list of six reservations, glanced at the dozen+ empty tables and had a hard time fitting us in until we worked out the math for her. This was 7:15 and I reminded her that we'd try to call for reservations, albeit an hr ago, but kept getting an answering machine. Anyway she "found" a table and we got our menus and special list and pondered.

I gotta say we all had trouble deciding. There were a number of things that looked good on the regular menu and specials. I settled on a minestrone soup to start and the sea scallops florentine. Both were superb. The soup was rich, complex, the veggies fresh, pasta firm, nice little chunks of reggiano surprising me now and then; truly one of the best soups I've had in a while. And the entree of three large seared scallops on a bed of creamy spinach was equally delicious. Didn't try our friend's endive salad with pear and gorgonzola, but he raved about it and truly enjoyed his penne with spicy sausage and bitter greens. SO's carpaccio appetizer was called ideal and the entree of crispy lake superior whitefish was first rate: served in a bowl of broth, flavored by slices of garlic, tomatoes, scallions and greens. A masterly subtle yet tasty combo that complimented the fish well.

Drinks, desserts and service was nothing to write home about. We had quite a wait between dinner and dessert (why, why oh why does this happen all the time?). The crowd was thankfully mixed: young and old, gay and straight, all ethnicities, not the place of my memory, crawling with scenesters. In short, a place that was surprising, eccentric yet homey. Very Silver Lakeish.

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