Sunday, February 19, 2006
Sophistication in Los Feliz: Vinoteca Farfalla
Farfalla's wine-by-the-glass system
We thought Vinoteca Farfalla might be deserted Friday evening -- after all, it was threatening to drizzle, which practically counts as a hurricane for most Angelenos. But Kathy and I could barely get in the door at the bustling wine bar, where youngish couples and groups of ladies-who-lurch were packing the narrow space. We found a few inches of bar to lean on and ordered up a Chateau St. Paul and a Nebbiolo from the large blackboard of wines by the glass. The selections are mostly French and Italian, with a few Californians for good measure, and start at a reasonable $7 per glass. Eventually two seats at the bar cleared, and we were able to peer at the menu and order a salami and cheese plate. Some of the menu selections are vaguely South American, since the wine bar shares a kitchen with the Brazilian Tropicalia next door, with empanadas and black beans and plaintains. Prices are pretty high -- $19 for risotto, $13 for fritto misto with calamari and shrimp -- but it's more about the wine, anyway.
The salami plate was ok if a little haphazardly assembled, and the basket of garlicky crostini will help fill you up. We also tried a Malbec, which was reasonably priced, but suffered in comparison to our French and Italian choices. This place is full of life, the perfect spot to huddle on a rainy night, but a little loud for actual conversation.
1968 Hillhurst Ave.