Thursday, August 21, 2014

Food & Lib: Bow & Truss

Bow & Truss on Magnolia Blvd, NoHo Arts District

Just around the corner from our new apartment in the NoHo Arts District, there is a long string of old and new restaurants and bars -- with more opening every week, it seems. After several months of passing what looked like an idyllic courtyard and patio bar, I finally decided it was time to check out Bow & Truss when my sister was in town last weekend.

The patio I speak of sits just inside a large iron gate. A sand pit and granite table surrounded by outdoor loungers, tall bar tables with generous space, and even a fully stocked bar. Market lights glitter at night, and more than once, we've seen film crews parked in front, taking advantage of the unique looking space.

And that's before even going inside. Frankly, it didn't even occur to me that there was an indoor restaurant, since the patio was where most people gathered. But just inside the ornate doors, another massive rectangular bar greets you. Inside is just as spacious as out, and given how hot its been, we opted for cooler, less scorching booth seats.

Our late Saturday lunch may be the very best time to come to Bow & Truss. It is a popular brunch location -- with a full selection of mimosa, sangria, and Bloody Mary day-drinking options, it's not hard to see why. In passing, I usually see the largest crowds congregating in the courtyard well after dinner, so I fully plan on visiting during those times.

But for lunch (around 2 PM), the restaurant was calm and quiet. Just how I like it at that time of day.  The servers were attentive and our waitress could not have been sweeter. Described as "a Spanish Taverna," Bow & Truss has a small but tasty Signature Cocktail menu, that features a slew of spicy and sweet libations.

I opted for the Burnt Pepino (pictured below-left; $12), because, well... jalapeños. I'm kind of obsessed. And it was spicy. Just the right amount (and I appreciated the warning from the waitress, which indicates that some people may have been surprised, and therefore upset, by the heat.) Though I don't pity those people much. Since, you know... it says it's hot on the menu. Base liquor was vodka, my preference, and with the added hint of cucumber, it was perfect for a summer afternoon.

John ordered another spice-fueled drink, named Signal Fire (pictured below-right; $12). This one was gin-based, and the gin was infused with jalapeño rather than muddled (like mine). As a result, it didn't have the same fire, which John preferred. Some sweetness accompanied the peach/cilantro syrup, and it made for quite the satisfying drink. John was happy, so as I result, so was I.

I would recommend either highly for anyone who likes a spicy kick in their cocktails. And those who don't? I dare you to give them a try!

We opted for a lighter lunch, but their lunch/brunch menu wasn't short on options. Everything had the perfect amount of Spanish flare, and I look forward to trying their actual breakfast items. But since I'm a lunch-over-breakfast kind of girl, I opted for their [gluten-free] Chipotle Chicken Salad (not pictured, $12).

think there was some lettuce in there with my chicken! I can hardly complain though, because the chicken was BBQ-charred perfectly, and the dressing was full of flavor. I mean, it was huge. I was sure I wouldn't be able to finish it, but as I scooped the last bite from my bowl, I realized that it was just too good to save for later. Wow, I'm hungry again just thinking about it.

This may be one of the trendiest new spots in North Hollywood, adding a bit of variety to current dining options in the area. And with a more relaxed and California-weather appropriate atmosphere, Bow & Truss might be the go-to place for these warm summer days - and nights. 

Place:  Bow & Truss
Neighborhood:  NoHo Arts District (North Hollywood)
Food:  Yes
Full Bar:  Yes

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