Friday, October 13, 2006
Truxton's American Bistro
Truxton's American Bistro in Westchester is what family restaurants like Coco's, Marie Callenders, etc. should be like. They have an interesting, contemporary menu ("classic and ethnic American dishes with a twist"), yet still kid-friendly. They offer some gourmet burgers (even a Chinese Five Spice marinated tofu burger), salads, sandwiches, and a couple traditional "slow roasted plates" such as brisket and turkey dinner, as well as appetizers like fritto misto, ahi tuna and avocado "tower", and chicken lettuce cups. The portions are generous, and affordable. The food is decent, but not great. Think of it as a cross between Gordon Biersch, Houston's, and Chili's. Truxton's does have the advantage of being probably the best restaurant in Westchester. If I lived in the neighborhood, I could see dining there again.
We started with the bistro salad - a sweet combination of dried cranberries, roasted butternut squash, pickled Persian cucumbers, sliced almonds and feta, tossed in a pomegranate vinaigrette. Interesting combo, probably great in couscous, but just too sweet in a salad.
My friend and I shared a couple of dishes, the most intriguing being the mac n' cheese. Gruyere, bleu, fontina, roasted garlic, oven roasted tomatoes, topped with a quarter inch of panko crumbs. It was very saucy - too saucy. One bite I had was just a big glob of gluey cheese with no pasta. The panko was too thick, the sauce too loose and the blue undetectable. The tomatoes did offer a nice refreshing balance to the dish, but it was just too cheesy. A big, goupy, fat-bomb-carbo-nightmare (or dream, for some.).
The Fritto Misto was respectable - a combo of artichoke hearts and calimari, served with cocktail and tartar sauces. I would have preferred they fried them about one minute longer, and some pieces on the bottom were slightly greasy, but a overall a good fried plate.
We shared "The Portland" burger: mushroom, caramelized and crispy onion, fontina cheese and aioli. It was OK. I thought the onion rings added a bitter taste to the burger, and the meat was only about one half inch thick, and not fatty enough. The lettuce was shredded, and the aioli more like plain mayo than aioli. The fries (a choice between garlic Parmesan, sweet potato and plain) were slightly under cooked and soft.
Good, friendly service, good iced tea, watery lemonade. They are good at what they are trying to be: an interesting, affordable neighborhood restaurant, good for a casual date or a family dinner, but not fine dining. If you live in Westchester I think you will find Truxton's to be a welcome addition to the Westchester food "scene."
Truxton's American Bistro
8611 Truxton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90045