Suffice it to say that with 3 kids we don’t get out much. Our “date nights” mainly consist of grabbing some Chipotle and an action movie. Or sometimes we skip the fine dining and just get coffee after the movie. But that depends on when the movie lets out because here in Santa Clarita, there isn’t anything open past 9pm. It’s a fun town.
Saturday night we had a real date night. I say real because the kids were staying overnight at Grandpa’s and we actually ventured outside of Santa Clarita. I know… shocking. We had a fundraising event to go to for our Temple, which turned me on to some incredibly talented musicians – Brian Joseph and Sally Dworsky. Seriously, their music is on iTunes… go download some. They are my new favorites.
Before the event, we decided to go to dinner. This time, it was a real, one-of-a-kind restaurant. No chains. Being a huge fan of Food Network, I am always looking for local restaurants that might be worthy of a try. Since we don’t get out much, I really want dining out to be a joyous experience. My search led me to the show “Best Thing I Ever Ate” and a restaurant called The Wood Spoon.
I decided we should try The Wood Spoon in downtown Los Angeles. The biggest problem with going downtown is always the parking. It sucks. First of all, there is VERY limited street parking… and when you can find a meter, it’s going to cost you $3 an hour. Yes… I said an HOUR. Now, that doesn’t seen so ridiculous when there are parking lots on every street corner willing to charging you $3.00 for 15 MINUTES. I know… crazy, right?
So, we were pretty lucky and found a metered spot right around the corner from the restaurant. Honestly, if we weren’t looking for the place, we would never have found it. You can barely see it from the street since it’s this super tiny storefront that has an equally tiny sign with the name of the restaurant. From the outside, it doesn’t even look like it’s open. But it was. I had called earlier in the day to make reservations… which they don’t take unless you have a large party. We were only 2. They said the wait at 7pm on a Saturday night could be around 20 minutes. We had no wait at all. The restaurant was busy but not crowded.
The interior isn’t much to look at, but that’s not why we were there. There are some fun, colorful prints on the walls and pendent lights throughout the space, but the tables were plain wood and the chairs looked like they were found at an auction for old diner chairs. What really was lovely were the cloth/scarf napkins in a myriad of colors as well as the flavored water they brought to the table. We had the cinnamon water, but the Host explained that they do a variety of flavored waters each night. The cinnamon water sounded strange, but wow, it was really good.
On to the food. The menu is full of Brazilian dishes, none of which I really knew. I love trying different foods, but have never had Brazilian food. David ordered the chicken pot pie, which is their house specialty. I had a taste of it and it was wonderful. Filling but not too heavy, with a touch of lemon or lime. It was served with a side salad with a citrus dressing. I love citrus, but David thought it was a little too much citrus for him.
Now on to my food. Most of the dishes on the menu have meat in them, so I ordered the fish sandwich. Wow… not like any sandwich I’ve ever had. On a lightly toasted roll was layered spicy mayonnaise, avocado, tomatoes and two pieces of fresh tilapia. I probably could have figured out a way to pick it up and eat it, but then I would have made a fool out of myself (and not been very ladylike). I opted to eat it with a knife and fork… and just about stuffed myself silly savoring (and finishing) every single bite. I added the yam fries… and can’t begin to say enough about them. These are not your ordinary sweet potato fries. They are more like chunky home fries. But yams. And delish!
I also want to add that the kitchen in the back of the restaurant isn’t completely closed off so while we were eating, I kept peeking in to see what was going on. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a calmer restaurant kitchen in my life. No yelling, no running around, no drama, no panic. The chef/owner was back there cooking and plating most dishes. It was seriously a joy to watch the care and effort she took into each dish. A little dash of something here and there, choosing just the perfect tomato, it was easy to see (and taste) that her restaurant was a labor of love. When we finished our meal, David told the Host to give the chef our compliments and before we knew it, she had come out to talk with us and thank us. What a treat.
This is definitely a restaurant we will be going back to. Again and again. And next time I want to try the desserts.