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The Wood Cafe in Mar Vista now serving dinner

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The Wood Cafe in Mar Vista now serving dinner

Jase | Jun 27, 2011 10:05 AM

They had their soft opening last Tuesday and with 50% off, it was packed so we decided against waiting for a table to open up. Popped in last night when it was completely dead and took advantage of their 4-7 happy hour. They have four of their appetizers and some of their glasses of wine for $1-2 off regular price.

We got the fritto misto, fried padron peppers, fried olives stuffed with a chevre cheese off the happy hour menu. Prices for these ranged from $4-6. Also got the pork rillette from the regular menu at $9. For drinks I got a 22 oz bottle of Albino Python lager for $8 and wife got a 6 oz glass of a chard for $4.

We liked the fritto misto for how well the items were fried, nothing greasy. The shrimp was just right with a good pop and not dry rubbery. Same with the calamari rings. The fried olives were kind of an upscale version of a jalapeno popper. I wouldn't order it again. It wasn't bad but nothing compelling. We finished our meal off with butterscotch pudding, which we really liked. It could have been set up a little firmer but wife really liked the taste and she's picky about that kind of stuff.

The regular dinner menu is small, which is probably a good thing so the kitchen won't get overwhelmed. A few different salads, four or five mains with items such as a vegan lasagna, skirt steak and a fish dish. The regular appetizer menu also has chicken wings, sliders, mac and cheese and that kind of stuff with a new American California twist. For example, chicken wings have a fruit glaze. The website doesn't have the new menu up yet so I'm going by my more than usual hazy memory.

Interestingly enough they seem to have taken the emphasis off organic and more on eating and drinking locally. They stress getting items from the local farmer's markets.

Overall, we thought the food was solid not blow your mind. But for the area and a quick bite it wasn't bad, pricing seems to be good value for quality and portion size. The alcohol seemed like a good deal. Service was attentive but with it being sparse, don't know how well it would be if it was busier. They took out some tables and put in a fire pit in the center of the patio with a ledge surrounding it so you can sit and eat around the fire. It's still a very casual place with paper napkins, walk in seat yourself and very sparse surroundings. Not the kind of place to come for a date night dinner, more of a place to grab a casual bite and drink with friends but you want something a little nicer without being expensive. Our total bill was $49 after tax. Pics of the pudding, pork rillette and fritto misto attached.

We were also informed they were going to try and start a Wednesday oyster night soon. Bringing in one of the vendors from the local market. He'll bring in a few varieties and talk about it. Pricing was to be around $2.50 an oyster. It'll be interesting to see if that sustains enough interest to make it a regular event.

http://thewoodcafe.com/

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