Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bandera (Los Angeles) 12/2010

A very atmospheric restaurant and bar characterized by dim light, busy conversation, moderate noise and plenty of buzz with a background of excellent live jazz. There is limited street parking. After valet parking entrance to the restaurant is through the kitchen! The venue occupies one large room with comfortable banquette seating along one wall. There is a large horseshoe shaped bar in the middle of the room with two large TV's overhead. We tasted the the mesquite grilled artichoke, which had been parboiled first, was as tender as artichoke can be
with that extra flavour added not only by the smoke but also by the mayonnaise with dill and other herbs, A smoked salmon starter was moist but not mushy. I didn't eat it but our host said it was "perfect".

For mains we had maple syrup glazed salmon cooked to perfection on the mesquite fired grill.
A substantial serve of potato with cilantro was beaut and the escobeche salad a remarkable contrast with it's onion, cauliflower, olives and a complex set of herbs. Mediterranean sea bass,
here called Lu de mer, is an extremely fine white fish, here served with a large helping of slightly sweet carrot and potato was a coarse presentation but a tasty and sustaining meal. You would not do better at any bistro.
They are also BBQ and meat specialists which, regretably, we did not get a chance try
They have a small wine list that covers a reasonable range with a French champagne at only $11 a glass.
Service was prompt and friendly and the ambiance outstanding.
Score 14.25/20

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