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Brief Report: "Dish" is a welcome addition to La Canada

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Brief Report: "Dish" is a welcome addition to La Canada

Donnymac | May 28, 2002 08:07 PM

Several months ago, a new restaurant named "DISH" debuted in a longtime restaurant space on Foothill in La Canada. After making a couple of trips there since the opening, I have had consistent experiences and am happy to report the addition of this needed new eatery to the area. Good news for Montrose, La Crescenta and La Canada residents.

Dish has done what they could with a tough space, trying to transform it into an informal, but modern feeling country-American feel. The dining room near the bar succeeds best in this respect.

The menu offers a concept of straightforward but thoughful California riffs on New American. Not a simple minded "comfort food" fest, like Smitty's in Pasadena, but a return to simplified, tasty American cooking. It's nice to see items like sweet potatoes, lentils, etc. returning as side dishes.

The menu tends to undersell the entrees, and execution exceeds the expectations created by the menu descriptions. At dinner, a roast pork tenderloin with mashed gingered sweet potatoes and a pan sauce was excellent, as was halibut with roasted potatoes and an interesting sauce. At lunch, the bacon, cheeseburger on a La Brea sesame bun was very good, and the fries rocked. Again, a halibut based lunch entree was again excellent. (Also,the Kids menu was well chosen and more diverse than you'd expect. Salads, which we didn't have, looked great too.) They have a great sounding breakfast menu as well, and serve it well into the afternoon.

So the great news is that whoever is manning the kitchen has good ideas, uses great ingredients, usually with some local providers (La Brea bread, Schreiner's sausage, etc.) and executes fully on the dishes. Pricing is very nice - a true value for the quality delivered - at all meals, not just lunch. About $10-$12 per person for lunch and about $20 per person for dinner.

Shortcomings: Service is still a little shaky. Can take a while to get seated (not because it's too full, just no hostess around), and your server is likely to be a tad inexperienced. Also, the wine list is problematic, and choices by the glass suck.

Time will likely solve the service issue, and perhaps the wine program will improve to complement the food. Overall though, a strong recommendation in favor of Dish, and a big cheer for another decent restaurant in the North Glendale/Montrose/La Canada/La Crescenta area.

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