OMG Food!

Soup's on, folks! I'm Tina M. Courtney, aka PoetKitty -- a Los Angeles based food writer audacious enough to think I can critique all manner of eateries. It's a labor of love, and I'm honored to welcome you. Grab a fork and let's get this party started.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Off Vine - We're Talking Way, Way Off

Off Vine
6263 Leland Way
Hollywood, CA
10.04.06 - Wednesday, 1:00 PM
Myself + 1 guest (Miss Patrish)

During my previous experience at Off Vine, which transpired some months ago, I fell in love with the space. The restaurant is lovingly located in a gorgeous old craftsman house, immaculately restored and oozing with Hollywood charm and history. The food wasn't much to look at or taste, and the service halted to a near stand-still, but I was willing to forgive and overlook, assuming it was a bad day. How could such a special space hold such mediocrity? No, I had to try try again.

One of my top girls joined me for a recent leisurely lunch. We wanted fab eats and a gorgeous backdrop by which to gossip and catch up on all manner of life-goings-on. Off Vine sound delish. Aside from the astoundingly perfect ambiance, however, this place is world of no. From service to food, I really can't recall a more disappointing experience this year. Our server even had a shadow - a waitress-in-training. Perhaps she was intentionally showing her What Not To Do - one can only hope. Our drinks and water were bone dry for most of the meal, things came at a colossally slow rate, and trying to get our check felt like we were asking for a winning lotto ticket.

And then there's the issue of the food. Oy. Vey.
Let me explain.


Soda/water, but not much of it. Wine list isn't interesting.


Mine (Pictured above)
Duck Breast Salad with Spinach, Mushrooms, and a Wasabi Dressing

-- I freaking love a good fowl, and mushies? What's not to adore? This salad also came with pine nuts, and I'll admit I thought the combination sounded strange, but strange enough to maybe work. Yes, well, I was dead wrong.
The spinach was nice, let's start there. No e-coli, so that's a victory.
The duck - overcooked, dark, dry, disgusting.
The dressing - SO full of wasabi, absolutely no other flavors could creep through. I like a spicy kick, but honestly, this was ridiculous.
The pine nuts - didn't work at ALL.
The mushrooms - I'm not sure what they were marinated in, but all I could detect was salt, and a horrific consistency.
This salad SUCKED - shamefully so. It didn't look appetizing, and the flavors smashed each other into an unsavory oblivion. Nothing matched, texture or taste. All. Wrong.

Chopped Chicken Salad

-- comparatively speaking, this was an absolute treasure, but still - ick. Some of the veggies were wilted and old, and one hunk of tomato still had the Del Monte sticker attached. Tacky!

Poor Off Vine either had one Off Day, or, as two times would tell me, this is simply not a high-quality eatery. Such a shame. I love that house.

Damage for 2 drinks and 2 salads - about $28, before tip.


Ambiance - A
Service - D
Food (Taste) - D+
Food (Presentation) - C-
Wine/Drinks - C-
Value - C-
Vibe/Energy/Scene - B

Overall Experience - C-

Final word - I've learned my lesson. I'll just enjoy the view.


  • At Mon Oct 09, 09:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i'm loving your blog! i'm a newbie to the LA area, and a total foodie, so I'm soaking up as much local flavor as I can.

    so here's my challenge for you, should you choose to accept. we have friends coming in to town in a few weeks and i need to present them with a few ideas for a nice dinner in the mid to semi-expensive price range. what would be your recommendations?

  • At Tue Oct 10, 10:53:00 AM, Blogger PoetKitty said…

    And I am loving your musical tastes - Tori and Interpol, heaven! :)

    Right then, I am so down to help, but a wee more info would make the recommendations far more targeted. Neighborhood and favorite cuisines would help immensely - otherwise, my old standbys in the mid-range are:
    The Bowery
    O-Bar (can't swear by the new chef but I've had such fun here)

    Holla if you need more variety or specific cuisines! And thanks much for stopping by :)


  • At Tue Oct 24, 10:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As for your review: -F

  • At Sun Nov 19, 02:59:00 PM, Blogger PoetKitty said…

    Thanks for your support :P Lovely that you leave heaps of happy comments but are too chicken shit to reveal yourself. Oh well, I don't like chicken anyway ;)

  • At Sat Jan 30, 06:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At Tue Feb 02, 07:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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