The Unvegan

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Growing Up at Bottle Rock

Bottle Rock my socks off.

Right around when I first moved to LA, essentially broke, I made a trip to Bottle Rock. Having little to no disposable income, I wrote the place off as overpriced and didn’t return until this past weekend. What I found was a restaurant and wine bar that was not only well-priced, but also delicious. Was I wrong the first time I went? Have I become jaded by the prices of LA? Did Bottle Rock simply change things up? These answers may never be known, but what is known is my experience there. Let’s start from the beginning.

The night before my visit to Bottle Rock, I had a few too many drinks. It had been a while since I put alcohol into my body and my body wasn’t exactly happy with me. Usually, my favorite morning after meal is grilled cheese with bacon, but I hadn’t eaten that. Instead I had just gone about my day like any other. That’s where Bottle Rock comes in, but not yet.

Before, I should talk about our server, who was awesome. He not only explained every beer on tap, but picked out a nice, reasonable bottle of wine for the ladies, which they loved.

Then, I found a shiny beacon of joy on the menu – Grilled Truffle Cheese. This sandwich was built on imported pecorino boschetto and filled with provolone and house made truffle butter. As if that wasn’t enough to get your mouth watering, you could drop an extra two bucks to get prosciutto inside to join the cheese and butter. Everything about the sandwich screamed, “I am a grown up, but not too old for grilled cheese,” which was perfect, because the night before I was thinking about how I was grown up, but not enough to kick back a few drinks, college-style. I ordered it at my first opportunity.

When it arrived, I was more than a little disappointed by what I found chilling on the plate next to the sandwich. It was some sort of leafy green salad. I know they felt the need to put something on the plate other than a single sandwich for 13 bucks, but it saddens me to know this was their choice. I’m not grown up enough for that. Plus, I was not aware that this salad would be there and had I known I would have at least tried to arrange for something more unvegan-friendly.

Fortunately, salad is far less devastating than pickles and other vegetables and despite taking up space, it did very little to affect my eating experience. And what an experience it was. This was a perfectly constructed grown up grilled cheese through and through. The bread was grilled to the perfect crisp, while the interior had a great truffle taste without being overwhelming. My only complaint is that it ended too soon, especially for the price. Were I a salad eater, the price would have seemed just about right, but I am an unvegan and in the end I paid 13 bucks for a sandwich. A delicious sandwich, but a sandwich nonetheless.

Yet, I must give credit where it is due. The Grilled Truffle Cheese has completely altered my view of both Bottle Rock and the possibilities of grilled cheese. Issues aside, this is a place I would recommend to unvegans and those crazy other people.