Abode – Unnecessarily Expensive Eco

abode restaurant, santa monica, los angeles, ca - mussels

Abode Restaurant in Santa Monica is officially closed as of April 2008. [la.eater.com] No word on what is taking its prime Ocean Avenue space.

No doubt, Abode is a beautiful space in an equally beautiful, albeit somewhat hectic, oceanfont location in Santa Monica. For obvious reasons, I was expecting a rustic décor with lots of wood. However, I was surprised by a modern interior with ornate accents, most notably the light fixtures that hang from high ceilings, cutout wall dividers between spaces, and striking reddish orange chairs with unusually high backs. I wanted to say I liked it, but it actually felt a little stiff to the point of slightly uncomfortable. We sat in the lounge area to have drinks and taste a few plates. The color palette is the same in the lounge, but it feels warmer, perhaps because the space is just smaller.

Abode has a specialty cocktail menu from which an Elderflower tea martini was ordered. I tasted it, noted that it was good, but also fairly expensive. I sipped on my regular cocktail of choice while looking over the food offerings on the menu. Our group negotiated and I only lobbied for the braised shortribs because it came with macaroni and cheese.

abode restaurant, santa monica, los angeles, ca - elderflower tea martini
mar-tea-ni
abode restaurant, santa monica, los angeles, ca - bread
carb-n neutral

With enough food to make a real meal, the server brought bread to the table. Tiny tapered rolls on individual plates were pretty, but a little hard for my taste. I only had a couple of bites before focusing on our order.

A trio of miniature sandwiches was caprese panini, sausage, and croque madame. They were cute, but were unbalanced with too much bread on each. The mussels h
alf of Moules Frites were not bad. They weren’t overcooked to rubbery as is often the case. However, the frites half was surprisingly not good. The French fries looked like they had been scooped from the fryer with the bowl in which they were served, and were that odd size and texture between crisp shoestring and fluffy soft wedge. They needed salt and a second go ’round in the fryer. Normally I am more forgiving when it comes to French fries, for they are French fries after all, but for the fine-dining (in the lounge) price, I was expecting something a little more thoughtfully prepared and presented.

abode restaurant, santa monica, los angeles, ca - french fries
bio-diesel
abode resaurant, santa monica, los angeles, ca - short ribs and mac n cheese
(falls) shortribs

The biggest disappointment were the shortribs and macaroni and cheese, presented in two tiny enamel pots as if they had been cooked in them on a dollhouse stove. Like the Moules Frites, the main event, shortribs, was not outstanding, but good enough. I didn’t care much for what seemed like a slight sweetness, but like I said, it was good enough. The macaroni and cheese, though, was bad enough that I took one bite of the overcooked pasta and runny cheese and opted to make the rest of my meal out of my cocktail.

I wasn’t paying much attention to whether ingredients were truly locally grown, seasonal to Summer, or sustainably prepared. I was, however, paying attention to how everything tasted and whether they were worth Abode’s fairly high prices, which is often inevitable with “eco-friendly” and an oceanfront address. They weren’t worth it for me.

It’s not that I’m not willing to try to be more ecologically aware. I just don’t want to be ecologically aware…at Abode.

Abode
1541 Ocean Avenue (between Broadway and Colorado)
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310.394.3463

www.aboderestaurant.com

** a year ago today, keira knightley needs to eat something, like uzen sushi **
** two years ago today, when it’s all said and done, you only need beef and bun, and chicken wasn’t just chicken **

tags :: : : : : : : : :

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • yoko

    In as much as I do like (and engage in, when I’m able) the idea of sustainable agriculture, the bottom line is that if it ain’t worth the price you’re willing to pay for it, you ain’t going to eat it. And that’s wasteful in itself.

    It’s gotta be delicious, right? ;)

  • sarah

    yoko: you are so absolutely right! it’s gotta be delicious! :D

  • Baisy Mama

    The idea is a great one and really got me interested in the restaurant, however if the food is gross then I won’t bother. I AM interested in how much ‘expensive’ is for the martini. I LOVE tea, but if that drink is more than say 10-12$ i won’t need to in at all.

  • Baisy Mama

    The idea is a great one and really got me interested in the restaurant, however if the food is gross then I won’t bother. I AM interested in how much ‘expensive’ is for the martini. I LOVE tea, but if that drink is more than say 10-12$ i won’t need to in at all.

  • TeddyBallgame

    Uh…be honest here Sarah [something you do very well] when taking the pictures you have of the food at Abode – did you say to yourself “I’m going to make this food look as unappealing as possible”? Dear Lord it looks as though they set the bar at mediocre, tripped on a pebble, jammed their pole into the ground 10 feet short and impaled themselves before reaching said bar. As for their sustainable banner, I remember reading a review of the restaurant where the author questioned the validity of such a tag when an ample amount of seating was leather. Sure, leather is sustainable, but what about the cow?

  • TeddyBallgame

    Oh, and please do make a point to try the short-ribs at Josie. Wonderful stuff that.

  • TeddyBallgame

    Oh, and please do make a point to try the short-ribs at Josie. Wonderful stuff that.

  • Tarie

    It’s amazing how good your food metaphors for life can get. :) Though isn’t it usually men who lie when ending a relationship?

  • Conn

    i went to abode a few weeks ago and left hungry. i’m with you, but i’ll say it more directly. it sucked. =)

  • hermz

    Only three weeks?!? Rookies!
    ^___^

Previous post:

Next post: