Alan’s been working nearby for the past few weeks so we’ve gotten to see each other every day after coming home from work and school and whatnot. We’re pretty accustomed to having each around all the time, so I felt like we needed a date night. Date nights make sure you still dedicate time and space to just focus on the other person. That’s a big thing in my book. That we both take time to experience new things together and appreciate the days we get to spend in each other’s company. Anyways, relationship shpeel aside, our last date night was at Flores and the Ladies’ Gunboat Society!
This little understated gem is right on Sawtelle. It’s so much more spacious than it appears on the outside with big windows and patio seating. It has a cozy feel though. There’s ivy along the wooden walls, a caged fire outside, strings of lights around the walls and little candles on every table.
For our starter, we went with fried oysters, which Alan decided on seconds before our waitress left. It was a wonderful choice though because these oysters were heavenly. You would think fried oysters would be dense and chewy, but these were just lightly fried on the outside with all the flavorful juiciness on the inside. Still soft and full of oyster liquor. It was topped with a fresh spring mix with a tangy almost southwest-type dressing. It was amazing.
Salad-wise we went with the asparagus. Is it surprising that these stole the show for me? I don’t know, it surprised me. I don’t expect much from vegetables, but I spent the whole drive home thinking of how to make this dish at home. Grilled asparagus topped with herbs, two poached eggs, a lemon hollandaise and bacon crumbs. Just looking at it makes me hungry.
For the first of our main course, we had the braised lamb sirloin with chimichurri, lentils, parsnips, lamb bacon and cumin jus. This was my least favorite of the night. The lamb was cooked well, but the sweetness of the chimichurri and the cumin sauce was a little too strong for me.
We were pretty satisfied in terms of quality but didn’t feel stuffed until this last dish came out. Crispy duck with potato gnocchi, walnuts, chanterelle mushrooms and an assortment of herbs. I’m not normally a gnocchi fan because of its doughy texture, but these were lightly fried so that they tasted like a cross between bread and pasta. This dish was a really simple, filling homey dish. The flavors were nothing too exotic. You tasted more of the chanterelles than anything. It was more a texture thing, between the chewy gnocchi and the crunch of the walnuts with a crispy strip of duck…that kind of thing.
We washed everything down with a pint of vanilla cream ale, which was a refreshingly cold light beer. It was a pretty satisfying experience and despite the price, I would definitely come back to try their other dishes or perhaps brunch! Bottomless mimosas, anyone?
Bottomline, if you need a nicer place for dinner and are looking for something with a lot of interesting flavors, stop by Gunboat! More importantly, if you do, get the asparagus and fried oysters.