Quintessential Neighborhood ItalianBlairs – Silver Lake (Los Angeles), CA
Italian – Last Visit – August 2021
Blairs is the quintessential neighborhood restaurant, which has been nestled in the Silverlake community for 18 years. We visited about a decade ago, but for some bizarre reason never made it back. When friends Paul and Susan decided to venture out for their first post-COVID dining experience last year we met them at Blairs.
We returned this summer, and the experience has only improved with the addition of outside dining on the sidewalk and picnic tables in the former parking lot. If you do decide to dine inside, the windows are wide open to the breezes. (Two photos below courtesy of Blairs.)
In accordance with current LA County Health conditions, all the staff are masked (as of this writing), and so were we.On our first visit, we started with two orders of the deviled eggs (four halves per order). These were delicious and rival our favorite deviled eggs we enjoy at Nick’s. Not an easy task.Tracy, Paul and Susan each opted for the Market Salad with lemon dressing and herbs. This was a large salad and could easily have been shared. I passed on ordering due to the large pickle slice on top. Pickles are perhaps my least favorite food item.
Luckily there are numerous other choices, so I didn’t find myself in a pickle when ordering. I decided upon the bruschetta with burrata. Perfectly done on rustic, crunchy bread with a nice layer of burrata topped by fresh diced tomatoes … Momma Mia!For dinner, Susan ordered the eggplant parmesan, which she said was delicious. Meanwhile, Paul opted for the grilled albacore on a bed of mashed potatoes and lemon herbs which he enjoyed.Tracy and I went the pasta route with Tracy ordering the gnocchetti with sausage, Swiss chard and pecorino. As you can see, it was a large serving of small gnocchi with a rich sausage sauce, so rich in fact, half went home with us for lunch the next day. Delectable!
My dish happened to be the “Wow” of the evening, tonnarelli with guanciale. Basically, it’s cacio y pepi with fried pork belly. I should have gotten one to take home!We returned this August with Paul to try some additional menu items. This time we sat at the picnic tables in the former parking area.
We shared the sausage pizza with a side of Ranch dressing to start. Hot and bubbly, crispy crust. I loved the Ranch dressing. This pizza is big and could easily be your meal, but, of course, we could not stop there.For our main courses, Tracy ordered the BBQ pork burger served on a brioche bun with spicy coleslaw and perfectly cooked fries. The fries, by the way, can be ordered as a starter, and we saw a mountain of them on the table next to us. Excellent!
Paul once again ordered the gnocchetti with sausage, Swiss chard and pecorino, which was even better than the first time we had it. Wow! Definitely getting that for take-out some evening.For my dinner I had the braised ribs with polenta and leeks which were excellently prepared and could easily have been shared, but at dinner I tend not to be a giver.
We ordered a Brunello from Blairs’ wine list. As we found out, there’s also no corkage fee here.
Speaking of sharing, at the table next to us we saw the warm loaf of House Baked Bread with salted butter come out with an Arugula, Radicchio Caesar with Pickled Onion. Both looked mouthwateringly good. Fortunately, we were full or we would have asked for a taste!
Since we seem to gorge ourselves at dinner here, we sadly still have not made it to the dessert menu. Like I said, the portions here are large, and if you want to make it to dessert, you better share. In an age of hip restaurants opening seemingly every minute, we found going back to an old favorite neighborhood stalwart with delicious dishes fit the bill perfectly.
Mai Tai Tom Rating • 4.5 Mai Tais (out of 5)
2903 Rowena Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Sunday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. • Friday/Saturday till 10 p.m.
Ample Street Parking