31 August 2009

The Westside Local

This place has "local" right in the name, so it was promising right from the start. I decided to have my birthday dinner there last weekend and try it out for the first time. I liked the looks of the logo, the name, the website - I was delighted to find that I liked the actual place, too.

in the beer garden

We dined al fresco that night; it was lovely weather. And we happened to encounter some friends in the beer garden and shared their end of the long communal picnic table. The proprietors at The Westside Local hope that "these communal seating areas make for an interactive dining experience, encouraging chance meetings, networking, new friendships, and even love." I'd say it kind of worked.

The food proved to be as pleasant as the ambiance. I had deviled eggs, which came with pea shoots (and I love LOVE pea shoots), and a Musser's tomato salad with heirloom tomatoes, both dressed exquisitely with citrus vinaigrette dressing. And then a vegetable gratinee that was far more interesting and complex than it sounded. The menu says "thin potatoes" but it doesn't tell you that they are creamy soft wafers that melt in your mouth; the menu says "local sautéed vegetables" but it doesn't tell you one of those veggies is kale. (Fortunately the server clued me in, and boy am I glad she did.) The entire dish was topped with arugula and when I told the server it was good she told me that they get it from a farmer just down the street. I said who, Lew? She didn't know the farmer's name; but I did.

beer and localities

Despite having ordered and consumed a beer of sizable proportions, in addition to the other fantastic food, I managed to save room for the Mojito Blueberry Tart for dessert - a clarifying and rich combination of lime, mint, and berry. And a charming cap to the lovely birthday evening. I can't wait to go back.

The Westside Local on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

LO said...

Several years ago we had family members living in Bakersfield, Calif., where there were a lot of Basque restaurants. That's were we were introduced to the communal dining table, passing giant plates of food and bottles of wine up and down the table with people who started the evening as complete strangers and ended as great dinner companions. Great fun.