I only see one listing for this establishment on the site, but there are actually two different "dining experiences" happening here. The Coffee Table Cafe is a casual spot with good casual fare - sandwiches, salads, pasta and the like - and usually the food served is fresh and tasty. It's a nice change from fast food, and has a comfort food quality that leaves me sated after my meal. The chicken salad is a favorite of mine, which speaks volumes because it has cranberries in it and I don't usually like raisins or berries mixed into other foods. The salad is perfectly balanced between creamy and chunky, without being runny or dry. I usually enjoy it on ciabatta bread, which is always fresh and tasty. The immediately adjacent Coffee Table Lounge is also decidedly casual, though it has a more sports-bar like atmosphere, as evidenced by the huge screen that engulfs the entire back wall over the bar. However, where the Cafe is brightly lit and has a more organic feel, what with its mosaic tile tables and other homey touches, the Lounge is hip, replete with tall stainless steel tables, dark lighting and the Uber TV. I'm pretty sure both establishments share a single kitchen, and the food quality is good overall. But what I love the most about the Lounge is the selection of bottled beers - well over 100 - and for the few times I've been there, the beers are stored well and fresh upon opening. They also have a decent selection of beers on tap. On my last visit I enjoyed the Los Feliz Burger - a.k.a. cheese burger - and it was definitely decent. Now that I think of it, the server didn't ask how I wanted it cooked, but I had no complaints. The only weird issue was a sudden lapse in service after our food and second round of drinks were served. It appeared that our server was working alone when we first arrived. More help came later and he took a break. Problem was, no one else came to the table to ask after our empty glasses or to clear our plates which we were clearly done with. The server seemed to be enjoying his break in the next booth with friends and even when he was done, it took another 5 or so minutes to get his attention and ask for the check. Probably just a mis-communication between the other server(s) but something to watch for in the future. Parking can be a bit dicey - there's a shared lot across the street on Shearin with a limited number of spots, plus on-street parking as well. Do watch for street cleaning during the weekdays. All in all a great neighborhood spot with easy access from Glendale, Pasadena and surrounding areas.
We had a lovely double-date experience at Water Grill. We started with cocktails, fresh oysters and stone crab claws (first of the season). Two members of our party ordered the same cocktail and upon delivery, one was noticeably more well-crafted than the other. We sent the one back with a busboy and when it returned, it was only half-heartidly fixed. Thankfully, our server quickly fixed the situation and everything was uphill after that moment. Our oysters included the Tomahawks and Mermaid Cove's, (all east coast). They were wonderfully briny and super fresh. The crab claws did not dissapoint. In addition to the raw bar, each couple ordered wedge salads and clam chowder. Our server was smart enough to have the kitchen split each item without us asking. Kudos to her. The chowder was probably one of the best I have ever had. It was loaded with clams which were sweet and tender. It also included thinly sliced fingerling potatoes which I thought was a nice touch. The wedge was wonderfully crisp, and had the perfect amount of blue cheese with generous bits of lardon. The soup and salad alone would have been a perfect meal. Since we were so full from the first two courses, we each decided to split lobster rolls and get a couple of sides. Having had lobster rolls all over the east coast, in addition to many of the popular sea food places around LA (Connie & Teds, Hungry Cat, Littlefork, assorted food trucks), I can honestly say, this was one of the best I've had. The roll was piled with tender lobster. It contained the perfect amount of mayo which allowed the flavor of the lobster to shine. I washed it down with a glass of Turley Zin, which is one of my all-time favorites. I was super-excited to see it on the wine menu. We finished with the Key Lime pie, which was good, but maybe a tad bit tart for my taste. Overall, service was spot-on. The staff understood we were two couples catching up and enjoying each others company. They were attentive and not obstrusive. The food itself is amazing and I'm already craving the clam chowder. We had a great experience and we're looking forward to going back.
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