I'll try not to hold it against the new Los Feliz restaurant Tiger Lily that they stole the name of a perfectly good Woody Allen movie (ok, my dad produced it, but still). Kathy and I decided to try Tiger Lily for some some drinks and appetizers before a full-moon hike in Griffith Park. The huge space, formerly home to the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop, has a spare Asian look now, with an open ceiling and a larger patio. The small room which used to be the bar is now the main dining room with comfy booths, while the large room is more loungey with an illuminated bar.
The food: The menu is Asian fusion with a few Indian/Malaysian touches (the owner also owns East India Grill). We asked if they had any special cocktails, but the recommended saketinis didn't tempt us, so we ordered unfiltered sake, a salmon dynamite appetizer, miso-marinated black cod and a "crispy beef salad."
The salmon dynamite was about what you'd expect -- mayonnaisey, spicy, tasty if you like that sort of thing. But there was no sign of the crispy rice cake it was supposed to rest on, just a clump of loose sushi rice. We enjoyed the black cod, also served on sushi rice, although I think that dish is hard to mess up. The crispy beef salad was less successful -- although the baby greens and curry-flavor dressing were fine, there were only a few tiny shreds of some sort of deep-fried beef substance present -- more of a beef garnish than an actual ingredient. And the generic won ton strips that top the salad don't win any prizes for originality.
By the time we left, the cavernous space was starting to fill up, but it's hard to see how they're going to keep a place that size full -- I guess they're expecting a large late-night bar crowd. Some interesting cocktails or a happy hour promotion would certainly help interest the neighborhood.
Verdict: I'm not sure I'll be back to try the main dishes (in the $20-$30 range), since the food seems like pretty generic sweet, crispy Asianish food, but it's a perfectly fine place if you need to meet, oh, 50 people or so for a drink.
Tiger Lily (open 11:30 am to 1:30 am daily)
1745 N. Vermont