Saturday, 10 July 2010 07:45

Barbrix - a hip restaurant with a romantic atmosphere and vegan options

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Tonight I joined some old friends at Barbrix, a small restaurant/wine bar in Silver Lake. I wasn't thrilled about driving there from Venice on a Friday night, but once I sat down at the table I was glad I did. Unfortunately, since I didn't plan on writing a review on it, I didn't take my camera, so there won't be any original photos - these are from their website. Here are the reasons I really enjoyed Barbrix:

  1. The food is impressive. When I looked at the online menu, I didn't think I was going to order anything more than a non-alcoholic drink, because there was a small vegetarian section and I couldn't find any gluten-free beer or vegan wines (at least according to Barnivore). However, when I arrived at the restaurant late (do to L.A. traffic), my friends were raving about what they ordered. Most of their Mediterranean-influenced food was dairy, meat, and seafood, but one plate was the roasted cauliflower salad and it was delicious - chickpeas and green beans dusted with curry flavors. I decided to try the blistered shishito peppers with murray river pink salt (the names are so fancy), and that was excellent as well, especially if you like spice and salt.
    Unfortunately, most of the other veggie items had dairy and weren't able to be adjusted, but the waitress was really willing to help me out. There were a few other items I could have ordered, but was pretty full with what I had already. Which leads me to my next point:
  2. The service is fantastic. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so - Barbarix's reviews often note how attentive and accommodating the waitstaff is. Our waitress came by every 5-10 minutes to check on how things were, despite the restaurant being packed. My water was always full, and my iced tea was replaced (not refilled) about 4 times. I will say, I was a little annoyed (from a green standpoint) that they kept bringing me a new glass and straw every-time they gave me more tea, but by the time I realized it, it was too late to say anything.
  3. The atmosphere is romantic and comfortable. This is a perfect place for a date or a nice social gathering - great lighting, beautiful decor, intimate tables, and an energetic pulse. It was a little noisy inside, so perhaps it's not the best place for a meeting or deep conversation, but there is an outdoor patio (with heat lamps). Keep in mind, I was there at 8pm on a Friday, so I'm sure it's very different on a Tuesday at 6pm. 
  4. Their prices are very reasonable. The menu is all tapas and alcohol, and the food prices are very fair for the portion sizes (most items are under $10). The beer and wine seemed a little pricey ($7-11), but they were of high quality and decent serving sizes. My friends tried a little of everything and shared amongst themselves - as the only vegan I couldn't partake, but was very content with the quality, quantity, and cost of what I ordered.
Though Barbrix isn't the ideal place for a vegan, one could easily get by at this restaurant while enjoying it's perks. It's a fantastic place to prove to your non-vegan friends that plants can be just as delicious and exciting as dairy and meat. In fact, everyone I was with was quite impressed with the cauliflower dish, and agreed that it was one of their favorites out of everything they tried. 

As of today, these items on the beer list are vegan-friendly (couldn't verify any of the wines on Barnivore):
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