The Foundry on Melrose: The Before (CLOSED)

Okay!! I’m FINALLY moved back in to my apartment. Everything is more or less put away. There’s mostly detail work to be done (eg. I ran out of contact paper but they didn’t carry the one I was using anymore so now I need to undo it and make it all match and I just wanted to get stuff put away so all my books are on my shelves OUT OF ORDER!! EGADS!) I’ve gotten my crazy schedule more or less under control. All the stuff that was on my patio because they weren’t done with the garages is finally put away as of yesterday. AND I got caught up on a project that should have been done in JULY (will probably be done next week), and so I finally felt like I could sit down (on my patio which is the only place I get signal…) and write a legitimate post. WOO HOO!

Anyway, so I was thinking that this post would be marginally timing appropriate because Eric Greenspan’s grilled cheese place hasn’t opened yet as far as I’m aware (although it was scheduled to open in July), and his temporary shutter of the Foundry which was supposed to be reopened this month, is clearly being delayed as well. (I even called to see if they had a voicemail or something…completely disconnected.) I can’t seem to find any updated timeline info, and these days a wise man would at least have a “coming soon” website for a new business, but that doesn’t exist either. Chef Greenspan also does not seem to have his own website…you would think someone as fairly well known as Greenspan would have their own website. ::sigh::

But I managed to get into the Foundry basically right before it closed. My friend Aimee was taking me there as a treat. Maybe they didn’t care because they knew they were getting ready to close soon or something but it was completely hit or miss for me which was unfortunate considering the effort required to 1) Go ANYWHERE on that side of town and 2) The total $$ amount of our bill. It’s kinda spendy. Between those things I want my dining experience to be EPIC…

The hits:

My cocktail: Torronja Borracha – couldn’t say no to this…I love grapefruit, and this did not disappoint. Tequila, cilantro, lime, and grapefruit…::singing:: “These are a few of my favorite things!”

Muscat Steamed Mussels: The broth/sauce/juice/whatever you want to call it that these were in was RIDICULOUSLY good. Aimee and I found ourselves in want of a nice hunk of bread…or a spoon. Alas we acquired neither of those things, but yeah. Delicious with orange, carrots, and blood sausage. Mmm….

Crawfish Chicken Tart (fennel, swish chard, cornbread): Less of a tart and more of a pile of delicious stuff on cornbread. This was a really lovely and well balanced dish.

Butter Poached Turkey (Brussel sprouts, pearl onions, marble potatoes): This sounded like one of those really REALLY boring things on the menu. Aimee didn’t even want to order it but I insisted because if you tell me something is poached in butter, I will want to eat it. What can I say? I’m a fatty. But I’m really glad we insisted because we ended up REALLY enjoying this dish. Again a dish where I wish it wasn’t impolite just to bring it to my face so I could lick the sauce. Yeah, I said it…

The misses (not just food, btw):

Chili Glazed Pork Belly (carrots, scallions, egg): Weird flavors…kind of “asian inspired.” Just didn’t really fit with the rest of our meal, and was extra disappointing considering how much both Aimee and I love pork belly.

Grilled Cheese with Short Ribs (tallegio / raisin-walnut bread / apricot caper puree) – wasn’t bad. But to me didn’t live up to the hype. This is supposed to be Greenspan’s award winning grilled cheese, and basically the reason he was opening up the grilled cheese place. And it was yummy. I just didn’t think it was white table cloth, $12.00 yummy.

The Bread Service: I think it’s highly possible I just didn’t GET it. I’m still not sure I GET it. If someone else gets it please explain it to me.

Dessert – both of them. Cocoa Beignets  with coffee whipped cream. Okay I’ll be honest…Aimee liked these a lot. But I thought they were a little boring. And don’t try to be fancy calling a heavy, dense, donut hole a beignet. You’re insulting all those people down in New Orleans who make REAL beignets…

Cheddar Apple Crumble – while tasty, was a miss for me, and I will explain why. One of my all time favorite desserts is a warm piece of apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese melted on top. Actually you can get this amazingness at most Johnny Rockets if you don’t want to just do it at home. It’s on their menu. SO I was expecting this amazing savory sweet combo to really come through in this Foundry dessert – my down home fave with a refined touch. Ultimately to me it was just a regular old boring apple crumble. So disappointing…

The service: This was really…I don’t know what. The server was young and adorable, and really really nice. But he was exceptionally unpolished. Like a busser who had recently been promoted and just didn’t get it. I’m all for promoting from within, but training is SOOOOO important. Aimee and I had initially ordered a bunch of dishes and said we were going to share so bring it out whenever. The food took SO long. It was surprising to me since we were there fairly late (after 8) and the restaurant wasn’t busy. At one point I discovered a bug in my water. I couldn’t flag down our server or a busser to save my life. Finally when we near done, we decided to order one or two more things and dessert. What was crazy was all these dishes – including dessert – came out SO quickly. And all  at once.

The Ambiance: Okay Chef. I realize it’s YOUR restaurant…and you can do whatever you want. But when you sit down at a table in the dining area and chat with your friends, leaning back, and looking sloppy, it’s off-putting. At least be attentive and aware. YOU are the chef/owner…YOU should have noticed how long we were sitting there, and how desperately I was trying to get any employee’s attention about the critter swimming in my water…and you should DEFINITELY have been wearing something that didn’t look…dirty. When I was working at Racion, Loretta and Teresa would sometimes stop at their friends’ or special guests’ tables and share a little wine or chit chat. But Teresa ALWAYS checked her chef coat for grossness and put on fresh apron before stepping out of the kitchen. Loretta was ALWAYS wearing a clean, pressed shirt, and/or a jacket.  A sweaty looking T-Shirt? Gross.

Also, my understanding – according to this Eater article  is, “The Foundry will reopen with a new ‘more refined’ back patio ‘scene.'” I’m hoping that includes doing something about the trees. Having trees that drop little flowers into your meal all night is unappealing.

Again, maybe part of it, is they had all given up. There was only a short amount of time between my dining experience and their temporary shutter, so maybe they thought it didn’t matter. I would be willing to try again and see how it is after the reopening. Maybe a renovation will give them renewed vigor.

We’ll see.

The Foundry On Melrose on Urbanspoon
7465 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 651-0915

2 thoughts on “The Foundry on Melrose: The Before (CLOSED)

  1. Jake says:

    When Panda Inn (as well as a couple other multi-location outlets) has as good a Zagat rating for half the price, maybe that’s a sign. Zagat may not be the ultimate arbiter, but if a restaurant can’t outscore a chain, you might want to question whether it deserves its lofty reputation.

    Sort of like being at the ball park or arena when the crowd starts chanting “over-rated”. The crowd isn’t always right, but they don’t do it to everyone.

  2. Tim says:

    Unfortunately they gave up when the Roof on Wilshire opened. I think they had to cut back on costs at the Foundry or something because that’s when the small plates started on the menu and it became less gourmet. When I first started going it was top notch with a great wine list and gourmet menu with wonderful presentation. The last five times I went before they closed I tried to order 2 bottles of the same wine and they only had one. I miss the old Foundry circa 2009 – 2011, what a GREAT PLACE! And now it’s gone.

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