And my "notes" from Yelp after a follow-up visit in September 2013:
"Gotta say - I hate the premature busing of my table (still eating)! And how dare the bus boys reach over and across the table (and my plate) while I'm attempting to enjoy my meal! Excuse the reach and ask me if I'm finished before you assume that I'm done. For a "fine" dining experience these folks definitely lack the training needed."
The food is definitely always good, I'm so glad that they've stepped up their game and worked out some of the kinks that once bothered me. I had always assumed and/or hoped that the kinks were from them being a brand new establishment, and therefore I understood that it tends to sometimes happen.
The specials here always sound amazing, though can sometimes be a bit over-priced, and the crowd is definitely a bit pretentious. But it has the best atmosphere of fine dining for vegans anywhere around in Southern California and is a great place to try vegan food for a first timer or go with an Omni crowd, everyone will be happy (unless they are even more picky than I am...and that's really bad!)
Tal Ronnen has put together a menu of familiar foods, mostly Mediterranean and tapas style, so you order lots of small plates and share. That way you get to try more dishes!
The menu changes seasonally, and a few items are staples, one being the Wood Fired Meaty Lasagne - and like I've said before, there's a reason people call me Tanya Lasagne! I've ordered this entree a few times, it's delicious, one of my favorites and definitely the most filling dish on the menu!
So far on our visits we've already run into Russell Simmons, as well as No Doubt's Tony Kanal (sitting separately) at least on two occasions a piece, as well as on our most recent visit seeing my favorite (very funny) ex-weatherman and current radio personality Mark Thompson who was there with his radio partner Elizabeth Espinoza.
Keep in mind that place is always packed, and reservations are required! They are open for dinners, and have expanded their schedule to include mid-week lunches, and Sunday Brunch.
Now here's what you've all been waiting for...the FOOD! I apologize for lots of poor lighting, as the restaurant is very dimly lit at night.
So there you have it. I went, I critiqued. I went back again, I still had some more to critique. Yet I continued to go back again and again. I was always honest and never smooched up for anyone's sake. I am a foodie, and I need to enjoy what I'm eating, as well as the experience! And now that I generally do (not saying that every dish is always spot on wherever you go), I invite you to go test it out for yourself!
8284 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046