Tuesday, July 05, 2011
The Spice Table opened earlier this year (in the space of the former Cuba Central) specializing in Singaporean/Vietnamese style food. We've yet to try dinner there and only got around to having lunch today; it's important to note that as the lunch is a simple menu of sandwich and side offerings. There's about five different Banh Mi style sandwiches to choose from and range in price from $7 (for the chicken) up to $9 (for the fried catfish). Sides like the spicy sweet potato chips or the Napa cabbage slaw are available separately.
Lunch is ordered at the counter and the food is brought out to your table. Drink (coke products, juice, coffee and tea) are available.. The cold drinks are self-serve from a couple big buckets of ice at the end of the counter as you're headed to a table in the dining area. Sean and I both ordered the cold cut sandwich:
coldcut: Vietnamese ham, paté, headcheese, garlic mayo, pickled carrots, pickled daikon, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeños)
Sean ordered the spicy sweet potato chips as his side and I ordered the slaw.. We split them so we could try both..
Spicy Sweet Potato Chips
Slaw: napa cabbage, carrots, crushed peanuts, scallions, mint, fried shallots, pepper-lime dressing
The sweet potato chips wavered between crispy and bendy but were very good and were dusted with (I'm guessing) sea salt.. The slaw was creamy and the cabbage firm and crunchy. The crushed peanuts were a nice enhancement. I'm assuming those with a nut allergy will want to stay away from the slaw though.
One thing that surprised me was that despite our ordering in, our lunch arrived in "to go" style:
paper-wrapped banh mi and slaw.
No matter as we were able to eat in leisure, savoring our lunch and enjoying the rustic ambiance of the cafe. I was actually looking forward to checking out the interior after having talked with Matt Stroud of Timeline last year. It was Matt and his company Timeline that created that prefinished wood look on the front counter, tables and chairs at Spice Table. Seeing his hard work put into practical application was neat. Along with the metal and brick, the whole place seems very cozy and comfortable at lunch.
The food was really good and despite the higher than expected price point (husband Sean reminded me that for the price of just the sandwich we could have had a Banh Mi with sides for about the same at Starry Kitchen. Starry Kitchen doesn't do sweet potato chips or a cold cut sandwich..) I get his point, though. Lunch for two was about $30... ouch.
I think Spice Table has its own merit though and worth another visit. I hear they do a pork belly sandwich that has a two week process in its preparation. I'd be back to try that if I could, and maybe the curried fried chicken wings, oh, and the chips. I really liked those. =)
Now Dinner.. that's a whole different adventure.. and hopefully we'll get around to that sooner than it took us to get there for lunch. Was it worth it? Yes. I'm just not sure I can make it a weekly thing.
The Spice Table
114 S Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA. 90012
If you want to view my set on Flickr: HERE