There was a time when The Monster liked Sawtelle Kitchen. And then there came a time when he found it tired and old and depressing. So along comes Flores in the former SK space and voila, a redo and revamp and reconceptualization and Sawtelle has a small plates foodie restaurant.
The space is all sorts of hip, still sporting the great patios that are perfect for beautiful LA days and a bar that is calling for a wholly different type of night. The service, long a sore spot for this guy at SK is eager to help, from front of house to waitress to busboys someone has done yeoman’s work in making sure you enjoy your experience. And yet…
The Monster orders the much vaunted soft shell crab sandwich with dreams of a transcendent foodie Valhalla where stars will shine and your whole body will be all tingly and funny feeling but instead he’s left a little flat.
The night starts out promising enough with some Tokyo turnips served with wakame butter. This is a bit of a departure for The Monster and he’s trusting his server on this one and not getting the housemade pickles or beets and stonefruit or kanpachi ceviche.
And it is a score, the turnips crisp and clean tasting, the wakame adding a touch of sweetness to the salted root vegetable. It’s a fun departure from the norm and a good little snack to share with mates.
And then the anticipation builds for the soft shell crab and sadly it is not as good as the sandwich The Monster recently devoured at Water Grill Santa Monica. It looks great, just the kind of dish that should be destroyed late summer with a cold glass of rose.
But on this night the sandwich is a touch fishy tasty, the accompanying avocado/green tomato overpowering. It is served with a couple pickled okra that are a nice counterpoint but the presentation feels like something is missing from the plate.
Given the menu, given the location, given the service, The Monster will be back hoping to find inspiration and foodie wet dreams at Flores.
Why go? How much ramen can one soul eat?
Monster rating: 3/5 Monsters
2024 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025