Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

NEWS: All'Angelo, Table 8, Village Idiot

All'Angelo: Restaurant Row has almost completed its ambitious goal of becoming restaurant square. From Simon/LA to Pink's, from Pink's to Mozza, from Mozza to Lucques, from Lucques to Simon/LA, I am now surrounded on all sides by some of the best restaurants going in this town. Melrose has suddenly entered the competition with La Cienega, Beverly and Third Street and is filling up with noteworthy restaurants of its own. The newest kid on the block is All'Angelo, opened January 20th by Stefano Ongaro, lately of Valentino, Enoteca Drago, and Il Grano. In other words, dude knows from Italian. All'Angelo is on Melrose near La Brea in the former location of Mumtaz, an Indian restaurant. The chef is Mirko Paderno, of Valentino and Dolce. The menu reportedly includes dishes such as Parmigiana-style braised tripe with grilled polenta; saffron risotto with bone marrow; ricotta, spinach and black truffle-stuffed guinea hen, and will serve 25 different wines by the glass.

All'Angelo
7166 Melrose Avenue
323-933-9540
Mon.-Sat. 6 pm - 11 pm

Table 8: Table 8 has opened back up after an extensive remodel. J. and I went there for a drink and snack last weekend and ... it is dark in there! Supposedly the new decor is purple--I mean--aubergine, but all I could see was some dark color. Be warned! If you had been to the old Table 8, the new Table 8 is bizarro Table 8. It's now dark instead of light, the lounge is on the other side of the restaurant than it used to be, and the entrance has switched places as well. If you try to go in the old door, like we did, you will find yourself walking into a dark curtain and possibly someone's table. Oops! I love the new lounge. It's more spacious and comfortable for groups and the darkness suits it. There's a very cool modern light fixture and a flickering wall o'candles. The restaurant ... well, we didn't eat there but it seemed like the restaurant part was way too dark. I like to see what I am eating. The clubby vibe was okay for the lounge area but a little much for the restaurant area. It was their first night open to the public and they were not serving the bar menu that night, so we were pretty much limited to one drink. It wasn't as crowded as I had expected. It seemed to be mostly friends of staff, and aside from that, a slightly older crowd. The drinks are still good. I've always liked the seasonal drink menu here and when we went it seemed to be some updated classics. I got a Pisco Sour and J. got a slightly twisted Negroni. It was too bad we couldn't stay but we needed food, so we headed out on a further new food odyssey.

Table 8
7661 Melrose Avenue
(323) 782-8258
Mon-Thu 6pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 6pm-11pm; Lounge: Mon-Thu 5:30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 5:30pm-1am
http://table8la.com

The Village Idiot: Hungry after our drink at Table 8, we headed down to new neighborhood pub, The Village Idiot, in the old Chianti space on Melrose at Martel. By contrast to Table 8, The Village Idiot was packed and bustling and loud. We put our name in and went to the bar to grab a beer. We only waited about 10-15 minutes before the friendly host came to conduct us to our table. He informed us that right before we were seated, Topher Grace has called and asked to reserve a table for four to be seated as soon as they arrived. He was refused and told he could put his name in, but was running at an hour and a half wait for four-tops. The Village Idiot will not take reservations from anyone, nor will they give anyone special treatment. It's meant to be a neighborhood place, where you just walk in and have a seat (or wait for your table, if it continues to be as popular as it is now). The space has been completely opened up and lightened up. To drink there's a selection of wine and beer, including two draft beers from Craftsman Brewing Company in Pasadena. The menu is a selection of upscale versions of traditional pub fare. I had the fish and chips with malt vinegar dipping sauce ($10) and J. had the Idiot's version of bangers and mash: grilled pork sausage with caramelized onions, yukon mash and port sauce ($12). Both of our meals were hearty and delicious. For dessert they were offering warm gingerbread cake with pear compote and creme fraiche ($5). It was absolutely delicious, but maybe a little too much. We shared and still left a good bit of cake on the plate. Altogether? A very good neighborhood spot for a drink and a bite. Go when you're in a casual mood and aren't going to mind a lot of background chatter, or a wait at the bar and you'll have a good time, and be certain that even if Topher Grace comes in, he won't get to sit down before you.

The Village Idiot
7383 Melrose Avenue
323-655-3331

5 comments:

Well...I bet they wouldn't make Ashton Kucher wait...he might punk the place.

Another great review bye the bye...I love the name 'Table 8'....We had a canary named Eight (remember him?) he was bizarro also...

wait.... his name might have been Six.

said by madame x at 8:49 PM Delete

Ashton Kutcher would definitely have to wait -- he has his own (annoying) restaurant down the street, so definitely no special treatment for the competition.

said by KT at 9:57 PM Delete

oops....Kutcher

my apologies to Ashton
and Eve Ensler

grin;)

said by madame x at 10:15 PM Delete

CALL ME KUTCH!!! What's his place -- isn't El Guapo bad enough?

said by anyanka at 12:34 PM Delete

He is an investor in Dolce. Not as gross as El Guapo, but at least as obnoxious.

said by KT at 12:39 PM Delete

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