Thursday, July 14, 2011

West Hollywood: Food Fair by Diego

Last Friday night, my here-for-rotation classmates and I piled into two cars and headed to West Hollywood for dinner.  A Yelp search (criteria being not-in-Westwood-but-not-too-far, reasonably priced, highly rated, and down-the-middle in terms of cuisine) had turned up a restaurant on Beverly Blvd called Food Fair by Diego, which advertises itself as "a casual restaurant serving fresh upscale American comfort foods."  Amazingly, despite its very high rating on Yelp, there was no problem getting our group of nine a reservation for 7:30pm when I called around noon on Friday.

There was plenty of street parking, as well as the nearby garage parking at The Grove, and it turns out that the food more than makes up for the restaurant's unattractive strip mall location.  We started with bread baskets, which are served warm with some minced garlic tapenade.  For appetizers we shared some gnocchi in Alfredo sauce and mussels with French fries.  Hua also tried and liked the potato leek soup.

Potato leek soup; mussels and French fries

I ordered the salmon and spinach salad (with garlic fried potato cubes, red onion, a perfectly cooked egg with soft yolk, red onion, olives, and vinaigrette) and was immediately reminded of the salmon open-face sandwich - sadly no longer on the menu! - at Calafia in Palo Alto.  Other entrees at the table included the pork Milanese (served with dressed arugula), spaghetti Bolognese, Angus burger (with a pretty pile of onion rings), and chicken burger.

Salmon and spinach salad
Angus burger
Pork Milanese

As far as I can tell, based on observation and superficial questioning, everyone enjoyed their dinners.  It was quite satisfying to have an excellent meal [in LA] for under $20 a person including tax and tip; we each ended up spending $19.  Food Fair seems amenable to a range of diners, whether in the form of large and potentially loud groups like us, couples on dates (like the table on one side of us), or families (like the table on our other side).  Also, Jesse noted that there is no a corkage fee, which is promising information for future visits.