Once upon a time there was a place known as the Brown Derby in Los Feliz. Sadly, after decades in existence as a restaurant, small concert venue and crime scene it became Messhall Kitchen. According to my friends, Messhall gained a bit of a reputation as a brunch spot, so we decided to eat there for that middle meal. After much discussion with the waitress, and a potential Charlie Day sighting, I knew what I had to order.
For my birthday dinner this year, my lovely wife-to-be took me out to the Los Feliz part of town as a surprise. It’s not a part of town we spend much time in, and we made our way to Little Dom’s, an Italian place that hovers between fancy and neighborhoody. The menu had a lot of great-looking options and we decided to start things off with an appetizer and wine.
The newest edition of Umami Burger opened up a couple weeks ago in Los Feliz and I got there as soon as I could to see if they could continue producing those same amazing burgers. The last time I went to Umami on La Brea, it was still BYOB and had yet to develop a burger built for unvegans. Even the so-called “Manly Burger” had onions, but they were still nice enough to make burgers for my unvegan specifications. Umami Ni, as I like to call the new Umami Burger (ni meaning two in Japanese), was a grown up version of the original.
Not only does Umami Ni serve beer and wine, they even have a bar called Salaryman (another Japanese homage) where they serve Asian beers for comfortable prices. Arriving at 9:00, I expected to be seated quickly, but the place still had a waiting time, so I headed over to experience Salaryman.
Walking into Palermo, I had little idea what I was in for. We had found it on my mom’s iPhone, using the Urban Spoon application, which I had never used before. Needless to say, we didn’t have the highest expectations.
When we got inside, there were quite a few people in the waiting area and they all were drinking wine. Asking one of them, we were told that they were selling wine for a dollar a glass. On a Saturday night! What a great way to start out our night. Despite the number of people, we actually only waited about 15 minutes. No sooner than we sat down, one of the staff came by and offered us a platter of pizza bread, explaining that it was “on the house.” The bread was a little tomato-ey, but it’s hard to complain when it’s free.