The Skinny: Half-asleep on Main St. in Downtown Los Angeles, the restaurant takes its laisse-faire attitude seriously. There’s no sign for the restaurant, just a big wood spoon. Seats? Couches. Napkins? Flower-patterned squares of fabric. Music? Acid jazz or euro-trash beats. Come early or in a small party, the atmosphere is comfortable because the space is cozy. Order a collection of ethnic side dishes (kibe, Portuguese croquettes, coxinha fries, plantains) if you’re feeling adventurous, but its all comfort food under the guise of Brazilian cuisine.
The High: The chicken pot pie stands alone: a classic, hearty dish. Flakey crust that breaks into dark meat with buttery notes that would make Paula Dean proud. Vegetarians or those on a healthy tip should try the beet salad. This dish heaps cubes of fresh beets, a generous portion of avocado, kicks it together with a light lemon salt.
The Low: Vegetable soup was a viscous orange liquid of boiled yams. It’ll take a hard-core sweet potato lover to enjoy its sickly sweetness and the harsh kick of cilantro. On certain days, service can be very very “casual”.
The Snobbery: A fellow fein (caffeine) addict told me about Wood Spoon’s Brazillian coffee. “It’s delicious and thick and sticks to your bones!” The coffee was indeed thick and robust, but comes already sweetened and creamed (that’s what she said). Most Brazilian coffee roasts are sweeter, fruiter, and have lighter-nuances, but there’s no way to fully appreciate it here. All I could notice was the brew wasn’t burnt. Washes down quick and a great way to conclude a meal, but fellow snobs may gulp it down and turn up their nose.
Would you come back again? Yes, for days when you want no-nonsense comfort food in your mouth, with a possibility for more. This ain’t a one trick pony or a one-night stand venue. I’d hit it again.
More Info: Wood Spoon. 107 W 9th Street, Los Angeles, California 90015. Mon-Thu 11am-9pm; Sat 9am-9pm