It’s a…it’s a…well, I don’t know how to describe this place in Silverlake.
Oh dear lord, it’s the hipster apocalypse…
Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe wandering into a highly regarded place like SQIRL, I should have known better…
Maybe, looking at the menu, with all these slightly obscure ingredient items, and the loud seventies rock and roll music…
Anyway, you get the point.
SQIRL is another restaurant that follows a…Foodie evolutionary chain, if you will. From Cooking School to Food Truck. Food Truck to small niche Counter Service. Small nice Counter service to Big deal Counter Service (see Philipe’s) and on to finer and finer levels of fine dining. This is the world we live in now. Just eat in it.
Foodies live and dive for places like this. Small environs. Meant for the Neighborhood. Inexpensive menu. Walking in, it really reminded me of Dune in Atwater Village. Same kind of thing. Same kind of dining experience.
Totally different menu, but same kind of thing.
Mind you, I am not complaining. It just sounds like I am. (Actually reads like I am too.) It’s just I recognize a template a work here, and recognizing a template (for me) is always little depressing. I like it when Restaurants stab out on their own, cut their own way. Looking at Sqirl’s menu, it’s definitely cutting it’s own way.
As a side note…does anyone have any @#$%ing idea what SQIRL means? I mean, at first I thought it was the Legions of Titus Julius Caesar coming to take over East Los Angeles. (You know? SQPR–never mind.)
Or is it…a cute way of saying Squirrel? I don’t know.
Walking in, I was prepared not to like SQIRL, but now that I’ve had a meal there, sat in there, I’d gladly bring friends in there to partake of their wares.
SQIRL; it’s a good place…that I haven’t fully figured out yet.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I went light, going with…what I believe was the Carrot Soca Pancake?
This is a deceptively tasty dish. I was expecting the fried, tasty, crispy equivalent of a Green Onion Pancake that I’d get at a Korean place, but this was…different.
Eating the Pancake alone is…okay, a bit reminiscent of all my Vegan nightmares, but okay. But that tangy dollop of…I don’t know what it was, some kind of House Sour Cream…that just lifted the whole thing and make it something I’d love to have again. Even that small sampling of greens lifted the taste to the stratosphere.
Bravo, SQIRL. Bravo.
Also they had a House Made Rhubarb Lemonade which was to die for. All I needed was more of it.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Right above this section, I detailed some food items that I had during my visit. Don’t count on them being there during your visit, as the menu changes frequently. Which I count as a good thing.
The seating is all communal eating. It’s like eating in a diner, only a diner with a narrow metal countertop, that’ll barely sit your iPad, much less your plate.
Oh, and forget about coming here for Dinner. The place closes at 4:00pm.
Still, SQIRL was a cheap and tasty date. Service was friendly. No complaints.
PARKING: Yeah, you’re parking on the street.
SQIRL doesn’t have it’s own lot, and you can forget about Valet Parking, so odds are you’re parking along Virgil…which may be tough. You can also try up the hill, behind the restaurant on Marathon, but that looked pretty crowded too.
720 N. Virgil Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Tel: (213) 394-6526
Monday-Friday: 6:30 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm