I thought Reservoir in Silver Lake was going to be really fancy and high priced considering its chef, Gloria Felix, came from the hallowed kitchens of A.O.C., Grace, Jar and Lucques. “Thank gawd this is a hosted dinner, else I wouldn’t be able to afford a thing,” I thought as I sat in rush-hour traffic during the grueling trek over from Santa Monica.
But to my surprise there were items on the dinner menu that I could actually afford without giving up ingredients, like the $10 chorizo, quince, and asiago cheese pizza, the grilled watermelon salad with jalapeno vinaigrette ($12) and a pan-seared chicken breast dinner ($18). The burger here is still a wince-inducing $14 (for a burger!) but apparently it’s worth it.
Since the restaurant, formerly Silver Lake institution Netty’s, is small with only 40 seats, our media dinner was likewise intimate with only six media folk (an equal mix of bloggers and journalists). We sat at the table with the best view of the restaurant and bar, alongside the wall of open windows which made the small space feel airy.
For starters, they brought out the
Panko fried shrimp in a jicama taco with a spicy aioli and fennel slaw ($14). Since the thin slice of jicama replaced the tortilla, this taco tasted fresh and healthy despite the fried shrimp. Next was a sweet corn ravioli with brown butter sage ($12) which reminded me of that burger review that quoted Gloria saying she loved savory and sweet. This was definitely a wonderful mix of both.
The only thing with both these appetizers, though, is that they’re priced like entrees when you only get two tacos for your $14 and three raviolis for your $12. I know most restaurants of this ilk do the same but that always makes me want to skip the appetizers. If anything I’d rather split that grilled watermelon salad or the $10 chorizo quince pizza.
For entrees, you can choose from a variety of “setups” like roasted garlic potato gratin with haricot vert and grilled piquillo peppers or forbidden rice, fava beans, baby oca potatoes and roasted balsamic cipollini onion. And then pair that with whichever of the featured proteins your hunger desires — beef, fowl, fish or tofu.
In my effort to be dairy-free and health-conscious, I went against my instincts of getting the summer corn succotash with marscapone and instead chose the setup of farro with grilled asparagus, broccoli rabe, currants, toasted pine nuts and roasted shallots. For my entree I got the black cod with miso glaze ($24) but I found this dish wayyy too salty for my taste. At least the farro setup had a subtle sweetness to it but not enough to offset the uber saltiness of the miso.
Blogger H.C. actually got the dinner that I wanted — the scallops and my beloved corn succotash with fresh English peas, marscapone and pasilla chile. The sweetness of the corn was so delectable and those scallops were so tender. Arrgh. Yeah, I really was unhappy with my cod.
Thankfully, the evening ended on a high note, a sugar high note where they brought out every dessert listed on the menu. Fortunately and unfortunately there was enough to go around as we shared everything.
The chocolate plate ($12) was a delectable selection of molten chocolate and peanut butter cake, milk chocolate caramel pot de crème, vanilla strawberry compote, chocolate sorbet, peanut brittle, chocolate hazelnut crisp and even a cup of iced mocha. You could probably split this dessert between two people or one chocolate fiend could take it on solo.
As it was, I was too timid to take more of my fave bits like the pot de creme and the chocolate-pb cake when having to share with the other diners. I could have done without the iced mocha, though. For me it didn’t really contribute anything except chocolate overload. Like why I wouldn’t have a mocha with a chocolate croissant at Starbucks.
Surprisingly, I LOVED the peach and blueberry cobbler ($10). Maybe for its simple goodness. It wasn’t over-the-top taste sensation, just fresh peaches and blueberries with a brown sugar pecan crumble and a condensed milk ice cream that complemented the flavors and the texture of the cobbler.
Now everyone was going on and on about the ice cream sliders ($9), a dessert reinterpretation of everyone’s favorite bar food. This, however, was made with ice cream between soft rolls with a side of puff pastry frites and white chocolate and strawberry sauces. I love the concept and the presentation and it’s definitely a fun, novel dish to share with a friend but it wasn’t my favorite. Weird, huh? The chocolate plate definitely overshadowed it and plus I wasn’t really feeling the ice cream between the soft buns or the pastry frites.
Would I come back to Reservoir? Definitely, if only to order up those scallops and corn. Mmm! Fortunately, the restaurant now takes reservations. They didn’t used to!
Also, if you’re looking for a new place to brunch, Reservoir recently kicked off a new brunch menu on Sundays where you can enjoy ricotta pancakes and eggs three-way. Since this is strictly a beer and wine joint, though, only mimosas and Bloody Marys made with soju as well as some fruit cocktails like the raspberry pluot sujo mist and the watermelon apricot soju mist.
1700 Silver Lake Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90026 (map)