Right now, it seems like Silverlake can do no wrong when it comes to opening the coolest new bars and restaurants in town. With walkable streets, on-trend locals, and beautifully designed interiors, it's no wonder why Silverlake's many new eateries are constantly bustling. Their newest offering, Bar Angeles, has managed to hit that ideal balance between dining destination and local neighborhood staple that seems to be the current recipe of LA restaurant success. The bright airy space, laid-back atmosphere, full bar, and focused menu have all catapulted this humble restaurant + bar into one of the hottest spots to visit. It also doesn't hurt that Silverlake's famous Elliot Smith mural is part of their bar (despite the initial public outcry, they've appeased lovers of the late musician and have given the landmark due tribute).
Like the food menu, the bar menu is small and focused, with less than a dozen unique cocktail choices, a handful of beers, and a slightly larger wine list. As it was a warm Spring evening, my companion and I opted for a glass of rosé and a Sunset Spritz, their take on an Aperol Spritz with Pamplemousse, Sparkling Wine, and Soda Water. Both were light, refreshing, and a bit acidic-- a perfect complement to their light but satisfying food.
To kick off our meal, we opted for the Market Lettuces salad, which was a really simple but fresh starter. The creamy avocado was a nice counterpoint to the thinly sliced radish and crunchy pistachios, while the shallot, lemon, and light dressing added some serious flavor without weighing it down.
For something a bit more serious, we ordered the Crispy Polenta; large sticks of fried polenta sat underneath dressed wild mushrooms, mascarpone, and a fried egg. The fried egg provided a creamy, runny element that juxtaposed the crispy polenta, while mushrooms added that lovely umami flavor. It was a really tasty dish, and super satisfying without being too heavy. It's easy to split, or selfish eaters can have their own as a small entree or more hefty starter. Yum!
You may already know this, but I can never turn down a good bone marrow dish, and this was definitely one of them. The bone marrow was oily and fatty, but melted into the grilled, toasty bread. It's definitely a simple pleasure, but makes a great addition to any meal. Another really tasty bite!
Finally we finished off with one of their White Pizzas: the squash blossom. I'm usually not that much into white pizzas, but the squash blossoms accompanied by baked eggs, veggies, and cheese was super light and really flavorful. The pizza itself was baked perfectly, with a crispy and thin crust. A definitely highlight of the meal, it was a gratifying dish without leaving us feeling sluggish or overly stuffed.
Overall, our meal at Bar Angeles was great. I loved the casual, laid-back atmosphere-- perfect for grabbing a casual after-work drink or bite with friends. The food was all really tasty and seemed to walk that line between simple, straightforward food and more creative cuisine really well, making it approachable to foodies and the less adventurous alike. We can already see Bar Angeles becoming a neighborhood staple with a strong, local following, as well as attracting diners from all over the city when they want a nice evening filled with good food and drinks.