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: