Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Park - Hip? Yes. Tasty? I'll plead the fifth (Echo Park)

the Park exteriorthe Park

Echo Park is one area of Los Angeles I'd rarely travel unless I'm out at a Dodgers game. Not that I have an issue with the area, it's more due to the fact I'm used to eating in my comfort areas of SGV, Koreatown, and the South Bay. On this occasion, I joined Tony of Sinosoul and Sharon of Weezermonkey for a Tuesday night 3 course dinner for a recession low price of $15.

Yummy3 course menu

Although the menu seemed simple, I was really looking forward to the fried chicken. I mean, come on! You can't really F up fried chicken, right?

Tomato Soup w/rice

Tomato and Rice Soup

First up, the tomato and rice soup. I really hope this soup was not Campbell's tomato soup (or an imitation) with a scoop of rice, because it tasted pretty similar to the ones I've had in the can. Thus, I should be quite impressed with the canned version I've had in the past or just consider a throwaway dish. I love soup, this was fine, but it reminded me too much like the ones I consumed as a kid.....

Classic Chopped Salad

Classic Chopped Salad

This was one dish I wasn't able to try, but it looked pretty standard with plenty of lettuce and tomatoes.

Fried Chicken
More Fried Chicken shot

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

To start, I'll say I enjoyed the buttery biscuits and the greens on the side, but hey, who doesn't like collard greens? The fried chicken would have been fine it wasn't smothered with a ladle of gravy. Now, I've had smothered chicken before when I'd frequent a few Soul Food places in the Compton/Carson areas, and they do it quite well. As for the Park? Not so much. The fried chicken was OK, but as my dining group agreed, it was no better than making a stop at a local Popeye's (2 pieces for $1.99 on Tuesday people!). The chicken looked better than it actually tasted.

Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding

Now this was probably the best thing I had that night. The bread pudding was pretty good (and I'm not a fan of the bread pudding in the first place) and the whipped cream was smooth and light. Although it was the capper of a pretty average meal, I could have finished another plate of this particular dessert.

Overall, The Park didn't really impress me. Maybe I should try the a la carte menu next time, as I was told it was better than the menu served on that particular night. If that's the case, then it's quite disappointing. If a restaurant has a promotion for a particular set menu, then they need to make sure it's on par, if not better than their set menu. The dinner had more misses (don't try that chili) than hits. As for me, it's not worth a return trip, even if they have another special. Maybe I don't have the hipster taste buds or style, but I think I know my food, and this to me, was just passable. Maybe this is the reason why none of these new truck foods (Kogi, Coolhaus, Marked 5, and that sushi balls) appeal to me, as the target audience are the hipsters and artists on the Westside or in Downtown.

The Park
1400 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 482-9209

The Park in Los Angeles


mattatouille said...

uh oh, get ready for controversy. I generally agree that the food was not incredibly impressive during my visit here, but at least they were trying. I wouldn't say the food is unimpressive because it caters to hipsters though, that's just because it happens to be in Echo Park.

mattatouille said...

good photos though!

weezermonkey said...

I know I'm behind when the Panda beats me to the punch! ;)

Wasn't great, but I'd still be willing to give this place another shot.

Kung Food Panda said...

Matt: Thanks and maybe I shouldn't have labeled it hipster, but I guess I just wasn't too impressed in the end.....maybe a return trip, who knows, but not for awhile..

Sharon: Are you trying to say I'm slow?? =P Maybe I'll return one day, just don't see it now. So many other places to check out! :)

PK said...

$15 looks like a good deal =)

Gastronomer said...

Don't you hate it when that happens?
"Passable" meals leave me sad for hours after... Sometimes days!

Diana said...

Yikes! That soup does look pretty Campbell-esque. Such a bummer! Guess you get what you pay for?

Bonnibella said...

This is where hipster hang in LA? We have them in the mission in SF but they bang out awesome food. Too bad the fried chicken wasn't good as $15 is a STEAL!

Kung Food Panda said...

PK: All things considered, it was pretty cheap for the 3 courses. Very filling!

Cathy: If I wanted passable, I'd just gotten that 2 piece fried chicken at Popeye's for $1.99 on Tuesday =)

Diana: Thankfully it wasn't like $50, then I'd be pissed.

Bonnie: Too bad the pics looked good, but the taste didn't live up to it. Thankfully no one thought I was dissing the hipsters =P

K said...

If you go back, go for brunch/lunch. I've had great veggie burger and carnitas hash there.

And re: Echo Park, never mind those hipsters – strollers are the new ironic t-shirt.

Kung Food Panda said...

K: I may have spoken too soon, I should and always should give a restaurant a 2nd shot. I'll try that carnita hash next time. Sounds delicious!