Monday, October 23, 2006

The Colony Cafe

I had lunch at the new Colony Cafe on Pico Blvd. in West LA the other day. Decent hamburger, bizarre fries, and an odd layout. The outside is cute, with a blue and white beachy New England style exterior, with a nice, large front patio dining area. When you walk up to the building there are two doors: pick one. I picked the one on the left. Wrong! The door on the left leads you to the bakery/ breakfast/ coffee/ frozen yogurt part of The Colony Cafe. It is very spacious, clean and cute (continuing with the New England theme), with a small selection of pastries, and several kinds of frozen yogurt (I did not see "the New Berry!") and ice cream taking up most of the counter area, and a comfortable seating area. I looked around for the lunch menu - not here, it is next door. So I stepped back outside and opened door #2 and stepped into the lunch counter. A small, stark white room with a small counter, and a soda fountain, I was the 3rd person in line and had to stand in the doorway holding the door open. Why aren't these spaces combined? The frozen yogurt side was virtually empty, and we are crammed in this little room? Is there some building code that is preventing that? This cafe should be laid out just like Clementine, with an area for pastries, and an area for hot food and two lines. Oh well.

I wanted to try one of their hormone and antibiotic-free hamburgers I had heard about. I chose the BTLA Burger, "topped with hickory smoked bacon, lettuce wedge (really just a leaf), tomato and avocado" and aioli and Papa's Special Sauce ( a very sweet cross between Mexican salsa and BBQ sauce). I call it the curse of The Houston's Office Burger. I love the Father's Office combo of blue cheese, onions, and bacon, and Houston's California burger with avocado, I can't help myself altering any burger I order into something that resembles one, or both of those burgers. So I added blue cheese and avocado, and the sauces on the side ($8.25 + $2.50 for avo and blue).

Their burgers come with a handful of thin potato chips (not mentioned on the menu), and I added their garlic fries. I couldn't quite figure out what was on these fries. First of all, they were very crisp, bordering on stale in taste and texture, and doused with some sort of oil with minced garlic. Of course, after a few minutes they get soggy, perhaps explaining the initial too-crispness of the fry? Underwhelming. I should have ordered the regular fires and dipped them in the aioli (lemony, thin and good) I ordered on the side. The burger was good. Big, but not too big. The patty was not as tender or as fatty as FO or Houston's, but still good. It satisfied my craving.

They also offer hot dogs, "Porch Puppies", made with Nathan's all beef dogs, tricked out the Hog Dog: bacon wrapped roasted dog topped with swiss cheese and horseradish cream, diced onions and scallions. They also serve sandwiches such as tuna melt and grilled chicken, and salads.

The Colony Cafe is a nice little neighborhood spot, it is just akward to have separate rooms for the businesses. For example, I ordered an iced tea, which I had to go next door to retrieve. (?) Don't let that stop you from checking them out.

The Colony Cafe
10937 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064


Anonymous said...

I visited Colony Cafe a few weeks ago and ordered the veggie sandwich and a side of fries. I found the 9 grain/whole grain bread to be a little too dense and the filling combo somewhat flavorless. I wasn't excited at all. However, I devoured the skinny fries which I found very "more-ish" indeed. Weird that special drinks had to be obtained next door. All in all, I won't go out of my way for this.

Anonymous said...

I actually used to work at Colony Cafe before I left for university. You guessed correctly... the store is divided strangely due to building codes.

Also, if I remember correctly, the owner had a lot of say in the design of the place... and aesthetics were given a much higher priority than function. We spent a lot of time just trying to make that space workable.

johnnyrokkit said...

NEWS FLASH: They've knocked a hole in the wall so you can get to Papa's Porch from the Colony Cafe without having to exit.

As an aside, we're there for a burger nearly every Friday, we appreciate their use of organic beef, and their generous dispensing of garlic on the fries!