Wallflower on Rose Ave in Venice

Wallflower is a new entry into the upscaling of Rose Ave in Venice. The general theme is Indonesian/SE Asian types of dishes. They’ve been open now - I think they’re still in a soft open stage - for about three weeks. They’re open for breakfast service from 7:30-4PM, then dinner service at 5PM, pretty much seven days a week.

We stopped by this AM as an excuse to break away from the usual Westside breakfast haunts. The breakfast menu is brief - two porridges, a couple of cakes and rujak (or rojak). We tried the two porridges, the pandan pound cake and the rujak, along with a brewed coffee and a five-spice capp.

The portions are precious. The porridges and rujak are served in four to five inch semi-shallow bowls/dishes. While not the serving size one would expect at places serving much thinner congee in a more Chinese-context location, the savory chicken porridge and slightly sweet black rice porridge are more substantial in texture and very flavorful - especially the chicken.

I didn’t really pick up on pandan essences in the pound cake, but my wife says she did notice it. The flavors of the rujak were too light for my tastes - I’m used to the pungent earthiness of terasi or belacan and I didn’t pick up on that. This may be intentional as I can see the uninitiated being startled by this flavor component in a fruit salad.

The coffee drinks are first rate for the neighborhood. In fact, so many of the patrons were walk-ins ordering coffee drinks to go.

The dinner menu looks far more adventurous and fulfilling. i hope we can get to Wall Flower for that soon. By the by, the bar is stocked with beer, wine and liquor.

http://www.wallflowervenice.com/

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I’ve been for dinner. Friendly staff, decent drinks, no reservations, and limited seating (they do serve on the patio in front and at the bar, though), Portions tend to be small for the price and, while the food is tasty, the flavors seemed more muted than I would have liked–especially compared with those at Cassia. The duck lumpia had a good flavor but the wrapping was breadier than other versions I have had, sort of like an Asian duck hot pocket. The crab rendang dip was surprisingly mild but came with a decent number of shrimp chips. The charsiu pork was the biggest hit albeit not the biggest portion.

Really too bad. You would hope Cassia would show other chefs that it’s ok not to tone down the flavors/spices of Asian cuisines on the Westside =(

I heard the chef is from Indonesia. That is what prompted me to try this place. In my experience, SE Asian cuisine flavors are anything but muted, so I am hoping the chef can put more of a “home town spin” on the dishes.

My wife is from Malaysia (whose cuisine is so similar as you know), so she was initially excited about going for breakfast. “Do they have nasi lemak?”

“No - the breakfast menu currently only has five food items on it. Nasi lemak reminds of tamales, in that if you’re going to make one, you might as well make 100. I don’t think this kitchen is there yet.” I threw in that, “yet,” with strong hopes that they do get there one day soon. Committing to pull together all the components of a seemingly humble yet logistically complex dish that may not be well received by the status quo is a gamble, I’m sure.

Attempting to highlight a cuisine through Western eyes by using quality ingredients and focused execution can have great results. Cassia’s been mentioned already, and how could they not.

The Gjelina group is similar in that many of their dishes are similar if not near-exact renditions of food we associate from somewhere else. Steadfast in their approach, the results are typically drive-worthy.

Wallflower has at least these two examples of success in the Westside to draw encouragement from IMHO. Be true and aim high.

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I am hoping he will get bolder as he gains confidence that the community would support the concept.

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Any Wallflower updates?

Sorry - haven’t been back yet. Wife was dismayed by the miniscule portion size for the porridge we were served. Haven’t given up yet though. Will update if we go.

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It was a contender last Thursday night but went elsewhere. Will go - and report on it - soon.

I keep striking out here. Went twice during the day only to find they weren’t serving food. They’ve changed to dinner only. I got some pics of the drink and food menu.

Anybody been here recently? My friends keep trying to drag me here, insisting that it’s much better than Kasih and almost an Indonesian answer to Joy in Highland Park. Should I trek across town for this?

been twice.
left disappointed both times though nothing was bad

Is it as Americanized as it looks?