Felix Venice - Dont Get It


#1

Went to Felix last night with great anticipation. To say it was a let down would be an enormous understatement. Unbelievably crowded at 8 pm which was not surprising. Had to wait 20 minutes for the table but the host and staff were very gracious and we enjoyed talking with the chef while observing the open kitchen. It was a show and a treat. Downhill from there. Once we were seated we were greeted by our server who (while very nice) acted like the entire evening was a rehearsal for a Disney special with a sign song voice and cheasure cat grin (I know could be worse but was uniformly annoying). What was worse was the food and menu. First, there was not a single fish dish or salad on the menu. For an Italian establishment, it could have been old school French. Virtually every dish was seeped in butter. The pizza had a 1/4 inch of grease. Maybe it was lack of familiarity with the regions from which the menu was derived, but my expectation is that most Italian food does not rely heavily on butter but again, could be wrong (after all I am a Dan Tana’s fan so there goes credibility). That said, I also love Sotto and Madeo and those places like Bestia and Osteria Mozza were what I was expecting. Also, not one to complain about noise, but dont know if I have ever been in a louder establishment. Must say that the meat dishes looked very good being grilled, and if I ever return (which I doubt) would go that direction.


#2

On the online menu, the first four of the eight antipasti are salads.

Butter pretty much takes the place of olive oil in the north, so I wouldn’t be surprised to get a lot of it in any of the “paste del nord” dishes.


#3

When we were there the antipasti were all with cream or butter and not salads in the vein many would consider for a meal or significant starter. As for butter in the north, I am sure you are right and we speculated that was the case. In any event, I guess the point is, the style of Italian here is much different than what many (me) have come to expect from the wave of very good Italian eateries that have opened in LA in recent years. I dont know of any other top Italian that serves food that is remotely in this style. Maybe thats why so many people seem to be clamering for it. God knows it was packed. To me its the Emperor’s new clothes.


#4

Maybe people weren’t ordering the salads so they dropped them.


#5

Cant say. Certainly I seem to be in the minority judging from the crowd of people inside and out waiting to get in. Its a different style of Italian from what I was expecting and just like I would not go for a heavy butter/cream French style, I did not care for this buttery Italian. Have you been?


#6

Pasta’s pretty low on my list when I’m in LA. Too many great places at home.


#7

Robert, I’m there fairly often, including earlier this week, and salads are still regularly part of the menu–the menu you posted seems to be similar to the one I saw this week. While the menu changes frequently (so I cannot speak to the particular night Thor was there), I can’t recall ever seeing fewer than three salad options and the current version offers four. The rucola and the cicoria salads have been on for quite a while and are particularly good and popular…though, this week, I opted for the squash blossoms to start.


#8

Been to Felix. Twice, now.

It’s ok, not great, not bad.

But for me, when I want my pasta fix, I go to Bulgarini or Cento. Between Leo and Avner, I have no need to get Felix, and I like Evan, quite a bit in fact, having met him several times in person.


#9

Do you ever feel Cento over-sauces? At least there is bread now, to soak it up. I do love Cento, though.


#10

No, not really. In fact, I really find their sauces almost worthy on their own.

What I do take objection to is their over use of dollops of ricotta or burrata as a “garnish” on their pasta dishes. But that’s easy enough to take care of, at least for me, by just asking them not to add that extra dollop.


#11

Evan was great, very friendly and patient, especially with the older people in our party, It was the heavy use of butter I objected. Also, the salads were not what one (me) would expect and were more vegie dishes with butter and cream. Bottom line is not for me and to be warned for those who dont expect this style of Italian.


#12

I highly recommend Orto Santa Monica. I prefer it over Felix, both in service and cuisine.


#13

Orto: Beautiful website. Detailed menu. No prices. Useless. What do they have to hide?


#14

Weird - not one yelp review or photo on Orto.
How does that happen?


#15

Did someome post a pic of the actual (at the restaurant) menu? I could’ve sworn I had seen prices somewhere, but, as you point out, no prices on the on-line menu. And, yes, that annoys me to no end, as well.


#16

Yes, I posted the menu in the Orto thread I created - with prices.
It’s been open just a few weeks, very quietly, and is outstanding.

When they opened, they were blocked from using that name by a restaurant group that hasn’t used the name, but claimed ownership of it, despite Andrea having the dba for Orto. So, they changed to Orto Santa Monica, officially.

Probably no yelp reviews because the early patronage crowd isn’t the yelping type, and all are friends with the owner (or perhaps own a stake).


#17

Maybe you should tell them it is not a capers [sic] sauce :slight_smile:


#18

Suddenly this thread does not feel very Felixy…