Well, a View and a Nosh Can’t Be All Bad

Every spring, the Palate gets an al fresco itch. I long to sit outside in the fresh air and enjoy a casual meal in peace and quiet, without stretching the debit card. Of course it helps when the food and service are top-notch but you can’t have everything for $10 plus tax and tip. So, once each year, I pull into the golf course entrance, just off the I-5 and absorb the majestic, green Griffith Park view that comes free with every egg dish (served all day), salad or sandwich on the picnic table patio of the venerable, though not widely admired, Los Feliz Café.
While golf enthusiasts putted around the adjoining practice green, I soaked in the great outdoors and willingly waited to be served. There’s no rush here so don’t drop by for a fast food experience. This time there was actually a pleasant person pouring coffee refills during the long wait for nourishment. My eventual breakfast arrived welcome and warm with the pair of eggs over easy, the way I like ‘em, even on a plastic plate. Trios of lean bacon strips were crispy, and the breakfast potatoes, clearly cooked from scratch on the premises, were better than taters at most coffee shops. Predictably, everything beyond the buttery toast and bacon was in dire need of salt and pepper but the food proved far more palatable than I remembered.
As I departed, it surprised me that the front patio, sans view but with the roar of boulevard traffic, was more active than the peaceful back area. Those oblivious munchers didn’t realize what they were missing. The Palate will return again – same time next year.
On an upscale dining napkin note, did y’know that Spark, the stylish Beverly Hills steak house, also has an inviting twin-menu woodfired grill nearby (on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City). You can also imbibe from an impressive list of martini variations, and the bartender will never “bruise the gin.”
The casually-grand Granville Café, on the Brand Blvd. side of the lavish, new Americana complex in Glendale, has a free food deal through the month of June. Order one entrée and two bar beverages and the second entrée is gratis. There’s a minor catch – you must bring a coupon. Print out all of that data, and you’ll be more than ready for those bar drinks.
Speaking of adventurous dining, Susan Feniger, who teamed successfully with Mary Sue Milliken to create The Border Grill and Beyond, is on her own and on the Street, her garish and daring new venture on Highland Ave. (There’s a clue of what’s ahead when you encounter $8.50 valet parking.) The elaborate menu offers equally pricey, small plates culled from around the gourmand world. It’s a chance to nosh and share bites of cultural specialties washed down with imported beer and wine. Will Street thrive in the current economy? Time will tell and the Palate will report.

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