Manuela - Arts District - Anyone been?


#1

Sort of surprised no one had posted. Anyone been?

TIA


#2

Yes, I have.


#3

That bad huh?


#4

I usually stop by here for drinks, as the space is lovely and I find the bartenders very friendly. Can’t ask for much more on a Saturday.

We had brunch once before and it was delicious for the most part, but a few of the dishes were nothing remarkable. Recommend the toast with ricotta/preserves, breakfast sandwich (best thing we had), and the okra. The biscuits/gravy came out last and was only okay and perhaps too heavy to finish with.



#5

That looks like the epitome of mediocrity…this place was so hyped up, I think I see why I haven’t heard much post-opening.


#6

Well, the J Gold review placed Manuela in my mind. I had already eaten dinner at a friend’s place earlier in the day, but I felt like some post-concert drinks and a dessert. The way JG described the meringue and berries dessert sounded rather pleasant, so I dropped by.

It’s a pleasant spot to grab drinks. It’s pretty quiet, which seems nice. Lots of couples and first dates, which makes sense, as the atmosphere is one in which you can actually talk to your dining companions.

Blackberry Smash

Really simple, silencio mezcal, blackberries, and mint. Sort of a mezcal mojito or something. I found the blackberry and smoke of the mezcal a great pairing, and was happy that the mezcal was allowed to show itself off in a cocktail context.

I ordered something more floral and astringent for a second cocktail, their Lavender Sour.

The egg whites come from a chicken raised 60 feet away from where you’re seated, which is more of a cool/interesting factoid than anything else. The cocktail itself was nice, not overpowering with the lavender (some places make cocktails that taste like drinking straight up perfumes; more power to you if that’s your jam, but I prefer more restraint). The astringency of the gin and lavender was a nice counterpoint to my dessert. And it looked rather pretty as well (the flower tasted pretty good too haha).

Berries, Chantilly, Yogurt, Meringue

This was sort of exactly what I wanted in the moment. A bit of an artful mess, but tasted wonderful. Very light, and effervescent, while mingling tartness of the fresh berries with the sweetness of the chantilly and meringue. The yogurt added a great thick creaminess and a very slight sour note that also worked wonders. A rather simple, elemental dessert, but kind of great for what it is. The meringue was also top notch, not overly crispy as some of them are; perhaps that was due to the “saucing”, in a way this was like a kind of meringue cereal bowl, which is sort of awesome.

Perhaps I will return for a Redneck platter and an Elk Loin or a Deer Burger.


#7

Wonder why the Deer Burger has no bun (per the menu - I have not been)?
Folks who choose the Deer Burger are big Carb Counters? Or, perhaps, the bun ruins the Bambi-forward flavor profile?


#8

Their online menu is not current. One of the differences is that the deer burger has a bun now, and it comes with pimento cheese, charred onions, and spicy mayo. The version in the LA Times review, third photo in the slideshow, is the current version.

So I guess we will never know about the bunless burger; it seems to have been a mistake.

I think I will go back to try it out actually, it looked pretty good. I seem to have been on a burger kick as well of late having eaten burger’s at Arc, and Petit Trois within the past week lol


#9

kevineats’ counsel may contact you soon…


#10

When I had the deer burger back in October of last year, it came with a bun, and it was a pretty great bun. It’s a Hokkaido bun of all things.

The rest of the burger? Did I mention how great the bun was?


#11

No report since? Almost got suckered into a reservation via insta


#12

Word is Kris Tominaga (Hart & Hunter) has taken over the kitchen. Biscuits anyone?


#13

kevineats reviewed it recently, great writeup of a visit for brunch.

http://www.kevineats.com/2018/05/manuela-los-angeles-ca-2.html


#14

Long time reader of the board and finally taking the jump into joining. Living in the neighborhood, I’ve had mixed experiences at Manuela in the past but gave it another try a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been a fan of Tominaga’s biscuits since the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing pop-up in Venice. His biscuits at Manuela were very solid. The ham that comes with them is pretty stellar too. Overall, I think dinner can be very good, although not every dish shines. Some of the vegetable dishes were standouts, like the charred asparagus with burrata. The duck breast entree was a bit disappointing.


#15

Thanks for diving in! Welcome!


#16

Welcome, @tibbis!


#17

Went a month or two ago. Gorgeous space, good service, food was fine. From what I remember:

-Cornbread was acceptable though not earth shattering.
-Beef tartare was umami-y and good
-We got a salad but I don’t remember really anything about it
-We got a few different veggie plates and mains, all of which were pretty solid
-We ordered like, every dessert and I liked them all
-Drinks are 13-16 bucks, with most of them 15. Sigh. I seem to remember the wine list also not having a ton of cheap options.
-In general, I remember feeling like it was an acceptable price per portion size for that type of restaurant, though not cheap by any means

Sorry I don’t really have more detail–it’s been a while and I can’t find the photos I took to jog my memory.


#18

My new favorite word. :slight_smile:


#19

went recently for brunch in a group of 3.

The space is beautiful; the Hauser and Wirth building is a fun place to walk around, some interesting art installations. They have what looked like an outdoor dining area, and on the side there was an enclosed coop with chickens (and we asked: apparently some of the eggs they use come from the chickens here haha, the other eggs come from the farm where the chickens are from).

Started off with a few drinks: aperol spritz (off menu; well done, not too sweet/not too much Aperol as some places do), Oregano Brown Derby (Mulholland whiskey, grapefruit, lemon oregano honey — delicious), Bitter Flower (Lillet blanc, grand hops, grand poppy, mercat sparkling, lemon sugar — somewhat flat but still tasty)

Deviled eggs (tasty but not memorable):

Market lettuces (also tasty, more distinctive with the buttermilk dressing being very well balanced, nuts added a nice crunch)

Biscuits (came with 3, we already ate 2 before remembering to snap the pic haha. the honey butter was good, creamy and had that floral sweetness; jam was tasty as well; the biscuits were light but very buttery, almost didn’t need the honey butter added, to be honest):

Grilled local yellowtail, with Cucumber Sour (Hendricks gin, cucumber, parsley, lime, egg white, sugar). The snap peas with mint were a nice touch and the fish had a good char, seemed fresh. The drink was perfectly adequate.

Venison burger, grilled beans, Cider Car (Three sheets aged rum, le pere jules cider, chai syrup, citrus). We saw many people getting the burgers and the Venison Burger was very tasty, not too gamy or lean, if anything I would have wanted some more distinctive taste versus a regular beef burger. Liked both the grilled beans and Cider Car.

Chorizo burger (very good per my friend):

View of the open kitchen. It’s hard to see in this pic but the wood-fired grill in the back middle has a cool steering-wheel thing (you can kinda see it in the photo) that allows the grill level to be adjusted higher/lower on top of the fire.

Dessert. We were stuffed by this point but still wanted to try these, Grist & Toll whole grain churritos (saw a lot of other tables getting this, it was really great, perfectly fried dough, light and airy and not greasy at all, with a great dulce de leche sauce); and strawberry buttermilk sherbet (a bright counterpoint, good complexity from the buttermilk)

Service was somewhat slow but friendly. Overall we really enjoyed the meal and would definitely come back, would like to try dinner. Btw, their wine list is rather interesting, they have some baller options (older vintage Mouton Rothschild, Sassicaia, haha, along with some more affordable and sensible options for the food).


#20

Your pictures look straight out of a magazine. I’m assuming they were taken with a real camera and not your phone?