Larry’s is the ‘brother’ restaurant of Waterloo and City – situated in the heart of Venice and serving the best of beers (26 on draft), global wines and food. Naturally I had to check this restaurant out due to its association with one of my favorite restaurants on the west side. The ambiance was casual chic – we went in the eve, the restaurant was dimly lit and the vibe was welcoming. It was Dine LA week so it was an opportune time to take advantage of the restaurants best offerings at an affordable price. The three-course meal went for $26.00 – the only caveat? Everyone at the table had to have the prix fix menu. Each course had a selection of three items to choose from.
The Potted Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait was amazing!!! My absolute favorite thing to eat, it was served with a sweet potato jam, house made pickles and 4 very large pieces of toasted brioche. It was quite the serving – probably enough to share amongst four people. Served in a mason jar – it added that homey charming touch. It’s a staple on the menu so a must if you find yourself here.
The Flank Steak was cooked well, served on top of creamed spinach and served with onion rings – the typical ‘meat’ plate, this entrée was delicious.
The Bacon Wrapped Salmon entrée was heavy but light – cooked to perfection. The only downside to this dish was the fact that we weren’t sure all the elements went together. Wrapped in bacon and served on top of gnocchi sautéed with squash, beets, ricotta and balsamic reduction – the sweet, smoky, creamy and sour flavor profiles just didn’t sit right. The only highlight was the fact everything was well cooked.
The dessert? Let’s just say it was the one dish that turned the entire meal around – in a bad way. The Sticky Toffee Pudding was hard to eat and dry. The caramel was over cooked – hardening on service and making the pudding hard to cut through. The sauce was not cooked properly. Upon bringing it up to service, he admitted that the kitchen was ‘faulty’ and that there were two new guys in training out back. He did bring us another piece – piping hot – but once it cooled down and we were half way through it, it turned hard again. Note to all chefs out there – dessert leaves a lasting impression on your guests – so don’t make it an after thought.
Overall Impression: We enjoyed it all the way up to dessert. Maybe I’ll go back and the restaurant can redeem itself. There were a lot of hits and only two misses. Definitely worth a try if you like gastro pub fare. Just watch out for dessert…
Larry’s 24 Windward Ave. Venice, CA 90291 (310) 399-2700 http://larrysvenice.com/