I was once a valley girl, in so much as I schlepped over the hill every day for my lamented studio-job. Yesterday I returned to the old haunting grounds for a quick hello, and landed at an old lunchie spot - the Eclectic Cafe. By my best account, it hasn't changed a bit.
Place: Eclectic Cafe, Monday, 11/28 - 12:00 PM
Myself + 3 guests
Ratings in brief:
Ambiance - B
(I always wanted the space to look more eclectic - instead, it strikes a sleek, minimalist poses that's lovely but not all that interesting - very loft-like, and as such, I imagine it would fit in downtown perfectly).
Service - B-
(It always seems that all the servers are brand new - nice, but nervous and not yet in their groove).
Food (Taste) - B-
(While almost every meal I've had is adequate, I've never found the Wow factor here. Some 20+ meals latere, it's still just OK.)
Food (Presentation) - B
(The plates usually appear better than they taste - at least my eyes are satisfied).
Wine/Drinks - B-
(They have decent lemonade and fizzy sodas, but since they advertise themselves as a "Wine Bar", I find the list sorely lacking).
Value - B-
(A bit over-priced for the whole experience, but since the old company always paid, who am I to complain?)
Overall Experience - B-
Eclectic is nice. That's it in a nutshell. The space is rather lovely, the food looks great and tastes OK, and the service is nice but slow. Nothing horrendously wrong with this spot, but nothing overly amazing either. I suppose the only plus is that for the neighborhood - Lankershim/Magnolia corner - it's a definite gem, as "nice-ish" restaurants aren't all that easy to come by (but I hear Max's reigns supreme). Here's the skinny on the foodstuffs:
Dishes I have had -
Risotto - way too rich and creamy, but a very good consistency.
Pasta - on the whole, the sauces are bland and the pasta is overcooked. No good.
Salads - not bad at all, but somewhat over-priced.
Veggie burger - a really nice choice, as the buns are whole grain and tasty and the "fries" are thick cut and really yummy.
The official downlow on le Eclectic - if you're in the neighborhood and need a bite, it will certainly suffice. But a special occassion must-have locale it is not.