Years ago we used to go to the only German style restaurant in town, the “Black Forest” on Wilshire. The best dish for us was the whole crisp duck served with a delicious red cabbage and potato salad on the side.
While the food was wonderful, the atmosphere was a bit dark and not particularly inviting. But the owner was very cordial, the service was good, and for German food it was the only game in town.
Then the owner retired and it was bought by a local doctor who completely remodeled the space into something wonderful. For a while it was an evening packed bar scene with loud music and lots of single people. But after a few years and complaints from the neighbors it has now settled down into a comfortable place for lunch and dinner for those who are interested in good dining in a comfortable and pleasant setting.
For lunch or dinner during nice weather we sit out in the open air patio. Evenings the bar tables are comfortable. There is a beautiful room for private parties. There is an open air bar behind the patio. This is one of the few restaurants around where you can carry on a conversation without shouting.
And while they don’t serve crispy duck, what they do serve is delicious, and uncommon in a good way. At lunch there the other day I had a delicious small bowl of gazpacho soup made from fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and a touch of red pepper spice. So refreshing! Next was mushroom tortellini, large pasta rings filled with liquid cheese and topped with a delicious mushroom ragout of enoki and other mushrooms. Another time I had the trout rillettes, a small jar of shredded, smoked trout paired with avocado spread. It was even better when I asked for some thin toasts to spread it onto.
Salads are the most popular lunch dish, seconded by burgers and a Cuban sandwich (way too big for my mouth). I love the cheeseburger. My favorite dishes at dinner are the Branzino, the pork chop and the lobster risotto. Nothing you can’t find elsewhere, but perhaps prepared with a bit more care and panache than elsewhere, in a nicer setting.
The wine list by the glass is unimpressive, with one wine of each familiar grape represented at customary overpricing.
I can’t write about desserts because my doctor, who might lunch there, has threatened to divorce me if he finds out I’ve been eating dessert. So I can’t tell you about the sticky toffee pudding with crème fraiche ice cream. Too bad.
The Wilshire Restaurant
2454 Wilshire Blvd.