Restaurants & Bars 25

Soft Wood...opening that is.

Jase | Nov 9, 2008 07:52 PM

The Wood in Mar Vista, on the corner of Inglewood and Washington blvd, previously the old El Castillo. The sign advertises organic coffee and cafe.

On our way to the farmer's market today we noticed some activity and popped our heads in. There was a family of four eating and only a two person staff there, a manager type and a cook. The manager said they were sort of open and he was just training the cook. But we were welcome to order something if we wanted. We decided to come back after shopping.

It was empty when we circled back, although people kept on stopping in the whole time we were there to see what was going on. The cold case and counters were bare. But there was silverware, menus and syrup jars on all the tables. The menu was pretty basic. Divided into breakfast and lunch only. All the items were priced under $10 with most of them in the $7 range. Breakfast section had pancakes, waffles, some breakfast sandwiches and egg combinations. The lunch section consisted of sandwiches and salads.

I decided to try the egg special which touted organic eggs with lower cholesterol. Two eggs, potatoes, two bacon and two turkey sausage links. My wife decided to try the french toast. Menu described it as “old fashioned” with chopped up croissants mixed with cranberries and raisins in a sweet egg batter. Two cups of coffee completed our order.

The food took a while but we weren't too concerned since we were warned they were still in training. Coffee was delivered and it tasted really good. About a medium roast, full bodied in nice hefty heavy mugs.

When the food was delivered, we were pleasantly surprised. My dish also came with a small mound of mixed greens drizzled with a vinaigrette dressing and two thick slices of multi-grain toast. I'm guessing I didn't get a choice of bread since they didn't have anything else.

My wife's french toast was a huge portion dusted with powdered sugar and also a small mound of diced fresh fruit. The menu touted they only carried real maple syrup. The stuff in the table side jars was fairly thin and tasted average. The french toast was more like a flat bread pudding that was placed on the griddle. Good crust, moist with the cranberries and raisins giving a nice contrast.

Digging into my dish, I noticed that the breakfast potatoes were prepared differently than I expected. They weren't cubed breakfast potatoes. Instead I had, six or seven steak fries sized wedges, that were pan fried. Nice crispy crust with a creamy interior. The turkey sausage was juicy and my bacon wasn't super crisp. But since I like my bacon on the “rare” side, it was fine. Toast came with some foil butter and industrial plastic packaged jelly. Kind of weird on the jelly given the emphasis on organic and fresh. Not a big fan of multi-grain toast so didn't have more than a couple of bites to soak up my egg yolk.

Our bill came up to $17.70 after tax. $2.50 each on the coffees. My dish was $5.75 and wife's was $6.95. We thought it was astounding value given the amount of food and pretty good quality.

We talked with the manager for a bit. He said, they were going to try and be officially open on Wed of this week. They will be open from 6 or 6:30 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m. Open only for breakfast and lunch.

This is certainly an interesting addition to the neighborhood. The portions are large and prices are very aggressive. They also had a espresso machine and lots of paper cups. I'm curious what type of pastries they'll have to go. Having a bus stop right there and an easily accessible parking lot will help.

It's within walking distance for us and we're intrigued enough by the rest of the menu to try them a few times to see how things are. It'll be nice to have a place nearby where we can snag a sandwich or salad to go.

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