At the base of the monolithic Scientology Center in East Hollywood lies a strip of shops which heretofore has gone unnoticed. Driving on Fountain through that area, one’s eyes are drawn to Square One on the south side of the street. But looking north, one would see something new.
Five Leaves opened a couple of weeks ago, and already has a following. There is a delightful open bar area, and a light-filled dining room. Service is a little weak in the opening days.
The Market Greens Salad is a delightful mix of fresh lettuces, shaved fennel, spring peas and other nibbles.
I haven’t seen Lamb Shepherd’s Pie on a menu in ages, so I had to try it. It came out in a little bowl, topped with fresh root vegetables. It was piping hot, covered in creamy mashed potatoes.
Under the potatoes was a tasty lamb stew. This dish was a winner.
The Hangar Steak came out looking delicious, with a mahogany crust that begged to be torn into. It had a side of broccolini and mashed potatoes with seasoned butter on top.
But wait. Isn’t butter supposed to melt? This butter was not melting. Why? The dish was not hot at all. None of it. The meat, the potatoes and the broccolini were all lukewarm. Methinks this dish was fired and sat for a while as the shepherd’s pie was cooking. Flavor-wise it was good and made a heck of a steak sandwich the following day. But a little timing problem in the kitchen is one of the hiccups of a newly started restaurant.
There are some interesting cocktails, but the French La Grange wine was corked. An Australian Chardonnay was much better. All in all, these hiccups are easily fixed, and I expect to return after they’ve been around for a while longer.