When I saw the new film, The Kids Are All Right, one of the things that stood out to me was the interesting restaurant owned by Mark Ruffalo’s character. It looked like an oasis in a mysterious location. I found myself wishing that I could find a place that’s tucked-away like that here in Los Angeles.

View of the entrance from one side of the patio. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Well, last week, I did! It’s called Villains Tavern and just opened last week. As you might know by now, my precious little Clarence has taken ill (I must be reading too many Elizabethan novels to use that terminology!,) which negated my plans to spend the summer in New York, as I’ve been doing for half a decade now. So, after staying in the house with him 24/7 for the past two weeks, Mr. X insisted I take a break for a few hours and attend the Villains opening.

Boy, am I glad I did! The food was delicious, although I have feeling this is more of a bar with snacks, rather than eatery with drinks. It’s always hard to tell at a party. The action is mainly outside, with an area set-up for music. That might mean that they’ll have bands, but the whole situation remains to be seen.

Now, that's a burger! Photo by Karen Salkin.

They served just five treats at the party, either to whet our appetites or because that’s the whole bar menu, but they were delicious! The mini-burgers with bacon, full-sized tomatoes, lettuce, and a secret sauce that was like nothing I’ve ever tasted on a burger, were unbelievable! My mouth could have eaten a hundred of them, but they were filling, so all my stomach could fit in were two. The other guests must have been happy because that meant more for them.

The mini grilled cheeses were terrific, as well, and we loved the healthful farro salad with beets and feta cheese. I can’t wait to go back and either try the whole menu, if there is more food, or just sink my teeth into those delicious burgers again!

There appeared to be colorful, creative drinks, most with fresh fruit, but, as everyone knows, I don’t drink (because I hate the taste of alcohol,) so if and when I do a full review, I’ll have to bring a few imbibers with me.

As for the place itself, it’s in some weird (in a good way) industrial section of downtown L.A., that’s surprisingly easy to get to. There’s nothing else around it–I loved it. And tons of street parking is available.

I met Dana Hollister, the owner, and she was just lovely. Turns-out, she also owns Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake and Brite Spot Diner in Echo Park, two places I’ve missed in all my years of restaurant reviewing! But I hope to rectify that soon, and I’ll let you know the results.

I’d be doing my readers a disserve if I didn’t point-out that, as the space is mainly outdoors, people were smoking. I guess that makes it a true tavern, but, since I can’t be near smoke at all, health-wise, and most of the restaurant complaints you guys send me in general are about smoke, that could be a problem for many of us. When I go back for a full review, I’ll check-out the tables on an indoor balcony, and let you know about the smoke sitch up there. Or maybe the smoke was just because it was a private party. Either way, you know I’ll get to the bottom of it. I’m hoping it’s the latter reason because that would sure be a far drive for me to take to get the burgers to-go. But they’re so great that I just might be crazy enough to do that!

1356 Palmetto Street 213-613-0766 www.villainstavern.com



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