Thanks to the 'hounds who posted about these 3 places, all of which I experienced 2 weekends go.
Silver Lake Wine
My SO and I went in on Saturday. Someone was leaving as we arrived but no one came in the rest of the time we were there. Though that meant lots of helpful attention/advice for us, I want to continue spreading the word b/c I think the shop is just a wonderful, much-needed addition to the neighborhood. The owners mostly stock boutique producers, and they have some great selections under $20 (my preferred range :). Not only are they knowledgeable, but they speak to you about wine without pretension, which is refreshing. We walked out w/ 6 bottles- total bill: $83 (tax included). I look forward to checking out the Sunday tastings (every few wks) and the "Blue Mondays." The shop has a beer/wine license so when they complete the place, including the wine bar--it is a work in progress--they will utilize that to do a variety of interesting tastings.
This is in Montrose/Glendale area, so it's about 20 min from where we live (Los Feliz), but well worth the drive. I went w/ my SO and a friend, none of whom had been there before. We were disappointed to learn that the restaurant was out of the mussels, which we had received high praise on this board. However, there were plenty of other tasty-sounding selections. Also, our server was extremely pleasant and helpful with recommendations. My SO had a steamed clam appetizer that he liked, my friend a "savory tart" of prosciutto, mozzarella cheese and tomato, and I had the calamari. They were all good but the calamari was declared the runaway winner. The calamari was sauteed, not fried, and it was simply dressed with lemon and capers. For our entrees, my SO had a filet that I cannot recall in detail but was delicious, I had the scallops, which were a good sized portion, very tender, and had a slight char-grilled type flavor. Finally, my friend had the pork, which tasted slightly dry to me, but I tasted it after she and my SO had been raving about it for 15 minutes. We were crushed to learn the ice cream sandwich had been 86-ed, but it gave us additional incentive to return soon. We had a plum dessert w/ yummy homemade ice cream. The bill? $91 for 3 appetizers, 3 entrees, 1 dessert and 3 well-made cappuccinos. What a steal. Obviously the BYO aspect helps out a lot - we had a Porter Creek Chardonnay to start - very diff't style Chard than most Calif wines, and then a Christopher Creek Syrah that blew us away - we shared some with the staff. I wish there were more restaurants in L.A. like B.V. b/c so many other cities have lots of reasonable spots like this to choose from. Volume is what Bistro Verdu needs, and I intend to help out in that department!
We had dinner there the night before Bistro Verdu. Not much to say except that this place is charming and a terrific value. I think the brunch is the best meal they serve, but dinner was also tasty. We brought a nice bottle of wine, I had an extremely well made corn puree soup and my SO the beet/goat cheese/apple salad, and then two entrees--one was calamari and the other I for some reason cannot recall (must take notes afterwards next time). We did enjoy everything though, and could not even come close to finishing our dinner. Next time, we will share an entree. The bill was $41. That's what I'm talking about! These places enable me to go out to eat regularly w/o gasping every month when my credit card bill arrives. Madame Matisse was very busy the Fri. night I went, so I think it's safe to say it is doing well (thankfully).