It was The Hungry Dogg‘s birthday, so we made the trek up to LA to lunch at Farmshop, a place which has been on my list to try for a very long time. Stupidly, we didn’t think to make reservations and waited 45 minutes for a table. Luckily, the market area kept us occupied, not to mention the celebrity sightings — Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen were lunching with friends — which made the wait tolerable.
The hostess was very sweet and apologetic, especially after she found out we were celebrating a birthday. After we were seated, we proceeded to order right away, after all, we’ve had 45 minutes to peruse the menu and had pretty much decided what we wanted.
The birthday boy ordered an Red Eye Martini ($14) with fresh Madagascar vanilla bean infused soju and LAMill cold brewed coffee. Although we had expected the cocktail to arrive prior to our meal, we didn’t get it until after our last dishes arrived. The drink tasted like an iced coffee with barely a hint of alcohol.
Brown Umbrian Lentil Soup ($12) was flavorful and they were kind enough to split it for us (even though we didn’t ask for it). They brought the poached hen egg on the side — not sure if that’s the way they served it or it was done for our benefit because they had split the order. Tasso ham bits were found in Austin’s bowl, but not mine so I ended up fishing out some to taste. A sliver of chicories — not sure which kind — was also floating in our soup. I liked the taste but wished they had left some lentils whole for textural contrast.
We ordered the Fried Weiser Farm Potatoes ($10.50 full portion) as a side portion. Nothing special, and they forgot to bring the accompanying housemade ketchup, wild herbs and aioli with the potatoes. I waited a few minutes and still didn’t see it so asked the server for it.
Our favorite item of the meal was Potted Fresh & Smoked Salmon Rillettes ($17.50). Perfectly seasoned with a nice smokey taste without being overpowering and the fresh chives added a nice freshness. Served with toasted rye bread, caper berries, pickled vegetables and baby lettuce.
The Community Grains Pappardelle ($20) sounded great on paper with English pea and their greens, local walnuts, sheep’s milk ricotta and crispy fried artichokes. Unfortunately, the entire dish was dry and underseasoned. At $20, not only was it expensive, but it was one dimensional and bland which was very disappointing. I brought it home and tweaked it by adding some salt and a bit of moisture so not to waste it.
Steak Sandwich ($18.50) is served medium rare, but it was pretty raw in the center. Again, the coriander marinated skirt steak was under-seasoned and if you didn’t get some of the horseradish salsa verde on your mouthful, there was no taste. The ladies sitting next to us sent theirs back because it was too under-cooked, but we had to get back on the road so we packed that up as well.
Overall, disappointing considering the price point of the dishes. Our meal was over $100, tip included for two with one cocktail and mediocre service. Based on this visit, I’m in no hurry to return any time soon.
225 26th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90402