Last night I went with a friend to La Bruchetta on Westwood Blvd., partly based on a recommendation on this board a couple of weeks ago. Service was extremely gracious, and they clearly have a neighborhood following. Maybe it was an off night, but I would not go back.
Before we ordered, the waiter brought us some toast with tomatoes and basil, and we thought, very nice gesture. Until we tasted it--the bread was hard and stale, and the tomatoes tasteless. Appetizers and salad were fine; then came the entree--one of the specials, a chicken breast cooked in a brown wine and garlicky sauce with artichokes. The sauce was alright, but the chicken was literally unedible: hard, dry, stringy; it was even difficult to slice. Both my friend and I left more than half of it on our plates. The dessert, chocolate souffle (not exactly, more like a pudding cooked in a coffee can) served with vanilla gelato was pretty good. But not good enough to redeem the main course. The bill was admittedly reasonable; still, with all the good Italian food in the city, why bother?
Is chicken always a bad bet in a restaurant that doesn't specialize in chicken?? Perhaps.