Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Wood


I had a very disappointing breakfast this morning at The Wood, a brand new little cafe in Mar Vista where El Castillo used to be. They transformed the little castle into a cute cafe, with outdoor seating. It is a new venture between the owners of The Grind and Cafe Laurent. I was really hoping The Wood would be a fantastic little neighborhood gem, with decent breakfast and coffee, but unfortunately the best thing in the place is the cool Dave Lefner print on the wall. 

You order at the counter and they bring your order to you. The service is quasi-self-serve. Want syrup for your pancakes, or sugar for your coffee, get up and get it. When the server brought me my meal, the flatware was rolled up in a paper napkin, on the plate with my food, sopping up the grease. Good thing I had already gotten a napkin myself when I got my coffee.

They offer many espresso drinks, but their drip coffee is served in ultra-tacky pump thermoses you serve yourself. My capuccino was brought out in a paper cup for my "for-here" order, and they quickly put it in a ceramic cup at my request. I ordered the 2x breakfast of two eggs, two sausages, two pieces of bacon and two pancakes, with potatoes. The potatoes were greasy and tasted like the oil they were fried in, the scrambled eggs were prepared the way I hate:  not stirred before they hit the grill. So you end up with white bits and yellow bits. The pancakes had the fainted hint of rose water - a very perfumey, soapy taste. Intentional or not, I did not like them. 

The space is loud - it was only me, a table of two and a couple of employees (and lots of traffic at the intersection). I really, really, wanted to like The Wood - it would be so great to have a great breakfast and lunch place within walking distance from my apartment, but the meal was so mediocre, and the coffee so unmemorable, I am afraid to go back and give it another try. 

The Wood
12000 Washington Blvd.
310-915-9663

11 comments:

SHANG-CHI said...

They have been working on this space off and for a long time now. I guess it's finally open. I am hoping that what you described was only the hiccups a new small restaurant goes through before it gets it groove. But, knowing that it's Cafe Laurent is behind it, my hope fades. Yeah, something new and good within walking distance would have been great.

Gaditano of Marbella said...

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Diana H. said...

I bet you sort of wished you'd forgotten your camera there instead of at Riva!

Laura said...

so sad, i was really excited about this place! we're going to try it this weekend, i hope some of the kinks are ironed out by then.

Ellen Bloom said...

Oh darn. I'd read about this place too and thought it would be a perfect place to meet my Marina-living Mom for breakfast. Doesn't sound like her kind of place....or mine! Maybe in a month or two (after they've read your review) they'll work things out.

april said...

i was also excited about this place and went there just yesterday for a disappointing lunch. based on the yummy smelling waffles and pancakes i was telling my friend that maybe the breakfast items were good. but then again, maybe not based on your review...

Jase said...

That sucks. I had posted on CH on going there before they officially opened and my potatoes were good. But it was only the manager training the cook with my wife and I as the only customers. We haven't been since they've opened, they've been too packed everytime. I too had high hopes, we're also walking distance. Really sorry to hear your experience.

Nick said...

Had virtually the identical experience. I don't understand how that place can be SO loud when it only holds about a dozen people. Everything about the place turned me off. Food was okay but nothing special. I definitely won't be giving this place a second chance as long as I have Overland Cafe a block away.

Anonymous said...

I have always found Cafe Laurent to be mediocre - the quality of the food, the utter lack of imagination with the recipes, and the truly awful coffee.
So I'm not surprised by your review.
But it is disappointing - after watching the building during it's remodel phase - day in and day out from the street...
I just don't think there is any reason (or excuse) for bad coffee in LA in 2008. Maybe after Intelligentsia opens in Venice in a few months, The Wood folks will
get some real coffee going. If not, it's just another mediocre place that will attract people with mediocre food expectations.
With George W. Bush on the way out, I'd like to think that we can all take a break from the lowest common denominator.

Teri said...

I live 3 blocks away and am very happy to have The Wood. It's inexpensive and hip (like the poster). I've been there twice, happy both times. And I actually prefer my eggs not swirled together in a monocolor fashion. (I like some bits yellow and some white, just like my momma made'em.) And my cafe au lait came to me in a beautiful ceramic bowl-like mug. I hope others will give this place a chance. The European chocolate milks look great.

Anonymous said...

next time when you go to a restaurant and you're looking to see how their food is don't get the most boring I-can't-decide-what-I-want-for-breakfast-thing on the menu. You ordered the lowest common denominator so that's what you got. That's not very foodie of you.