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Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area

Simon's Cafe, Sherman Oaks


Restaurants & Bars 14

Simon's Cafe, Sherman Oaks

georgiaw | Feb 23, 2009 08:18 AM

I appreciate all the hard work that goes into making good food and running a restaurant, so it takes a lot for me to be so grumpy with a meal that I would feel compelled to complain. After reading about Simon's Cafe in the food section of the LA Times, I made a reservation. Two other fairly recent Times recommendation that have have proved brilliant again and again (food, service, experience) are Puor Sabor in Van Nuys and Mariscos Los Arcos, in Van Nuys and Canoga Park. To begin with we were told that corkage was $10 per bottle only if we had a four course meal, which actually meant soup or salad and an entree per person. We began the meal with a $14.95 appetizer sampler of a very small dollop each of baba and hummos, a few falafals, fewer olives, none of which were distinguished, we also had to ask for pita. We had a Greek salad that for the $8 or $9 had a minimum of lettuce, feta, tomato, and olives with a tasteless barely there dressing (for a great Greek salad go to Cici's Cafe in Tarzana). I am against super-sized portions, but do want a proper sized one. Upon ordering lamb chops that were listed at $17.95, we were told that tonight they were French lamb chops and were $2 more - we wondered if this happened every night. Got them anyway and they were grilled basic lamb chops served with plain steamed veggies. Simon made a point of saying that other restaurants charged $30 for lamb chops, but perhaps for $30 you'd have a few more, presented better, maybe with a balsamic reduction . Both the harira soup and beef tangine, specialties of the Moroccan cuisine were flavorless and under-spiced. The highly touted merquez sausage was very nicely spiced dish, but unfortunately was served with frozen fries. Presentation was underwhelming and service was lackluster. We were very disappointed.

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