Is It Any Good?

L.A.’s first “Gastropub”……where the service is pretty good. Or…well, it used to be.

The Bowery on Urbanspoon
The Bowery on Foodio54

My dining companions and I were sitting there, basking in the glow of a Saturday Night Movie night, trying to enjoy the ambiance at The Bowery (a place that used to call itself L.A.’s first gastropub) when I glanced over at the bar seeing our Waitress (who shall remain nameless — though I do have her name) standing at the bar, talking to this guy.

Whatever they’re talking about must be good.  She’s doing it at the expense of everything else.

…or should I say…everyone else.

Never mind that I ordered an Iced Tea fifteen minutes ago, and my dining compatriots ordered refills on their wines.

My friends know what it is tend to do. So, the questions started flying. “Are you going to update your review?” “Are you doing downgrade this place?”

Ehhh, not yet I said. No big deal, I said.

But we were getting thirsty, and the Waitress was kinda taking her time doing…whatever it was she was doing.

And, as you can see…I’ve kinda updated my review of the place.

My Iced Tea comes…eventually.

My first visit to the Bowery…was loud, way loud, super loud.

Okay, granteed…it was St. Patty’s day.

That’s what I remember most about it. Was it a place to get a decent burger and a beer? Yes. Was it sociable and friendly inside? Yes.

It was loud as all get out, but it as sociable and friendly.

Be it ever so humble...

Be it ever so humble…

Was it (as it claimed) to have the best Burger in Los Angeles?

Ahhh, no.

Look, the Bowery‘s burger is good. It’s a fine piece of work, and you should definitely have it, but c’mon? Best in town?  Slow down.  You still got Umami across the street. (Full credit for putting down Go Burger.  They won that one.)  Plus, serving a Burger on a Toasted English Muffin? Not terrible, but not cutting edge gastronomy either.

…which is my than I can say for our Waitress, on whom we are still waiting o–

Oh, good. Here she comes…

…with their Wines, and not my Iced…tea.

Oh, great. She’s talking to her…well…whatever again.

Hey, we’re all good with this Girl paying attention to this one guy.  We just…well…don’t want to be left in the dust, ignored, not get our food while it happens.  And, well…we’re being ignored here.

And now my compatriot, who ordered the delightful looking Fish and Chips is asking for some Malted Vinegar.

She’s waiting for said Vinegar before she tears into her meal, which she is looking forward to.

So we ask again

…and again

…and again

Nothing ever comes. No help (or vinegar) ever arrives.

Wait.  Wait!  I’m finding out it did come…but after the food had gotten cold, and too tiny to be of any use if it had come earlier.

Now, I’m re-writing this review.


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, this is assuming the waitress did…whatever the heck it was with that customer, and full food service has started again.

I got the Bowery Burger, which can now be customized with an assortment of goodies.

Unfortunately, I got the wrong ones. I got Fried Egg and the Red Onion Confit, which drew me in on curiosity more than anything else. And…basically, they tasted like candied, picked Red Onion. The taste mix, for me, wasn’t that awesome.

Then again, that was my fault for picking the wrong thing. Fried Egg and Caramelized Onion would’ve tasted AWESOME. I know.

The Toasted English Muffin as a bun.  Meh.  Neither hated it, not loved it.  But it was…well…small.

The Fish and Chips were…okay from what I heard. Though who knows how good they could have been if some Vinegar was given along with everything else.

Generally, meh. One self-inflictedone customer inflicted.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE:  Here’s what I said in the old review:

Yeah, as far as a place for an intimate conversation with your Lady, this ain’t that place. As far as a place to go for a couple of pops on a particular holiday? This is SO your kind of place.

Here’s what I’d say now:

Here’s the situation. The Waitress who wanted to talk to this one guy sooooo badly, she was willing to forget the rest of the Restaurant? Yeah, she sucked and made the evening borderline unbearable.


That being said, the Restaurant made a choice too.


Remember my rule. It’s not a matter of making a mistake. Mistakes happen at restaurants, and mistakes shouldn’t be held against restaurants. It’s choices that matter. It a restaurant makes a systemic decision that led to bad food, bad service, bad times, then you should jump all over them.


The Bowery made a terrible decision. Before 6pm, they had one Waitress-slash-Bartender on staff, and one guy busing tables. That’s it. They seemed to have a full enough crew in the kitchen. I saw two or three guys back there making our food. Still, it’s not like it was a weekend night or anything. It a Saturday. People were going to be coming in. This Waitress was, in one key respect, hopelessly outmanned when it came to taking order/waiting tables/tending bar.  It was pretty damn crowded, so a little slow service is understandable.


And, of course, she made things way worse by focusing her attention on one customer.


Still, the Bowery could’ve and should’ve given her some help. At least that’s how it looked as we waited, and waited and waited and waited for the Vinegar that never ever came.


By the time the 6pm Shift rolled in, I could tell that things were sorta-kinda working again, but by then it was good late for us.  We didn’t care anymore.  We wanted to leave and not darken Bowery’s doors ever again.


PARKING: You’re dealing with the same options as going to Off Vine, Go Burger, and Magnolia. There is the Sunset Office Tower Lot that has Valet Parking. K&L Wine has a lot it shares with Kinko’s and as long as you get there at 6:30, the attendant will be gone. There’s always the street, which will be crowded. And your final option is the Arclight Parking Lot nearby.


The Bowery
6268 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Tel: (323) 465-3400

Daily: 12pm-2am.