Bars are nothing new to a heavily populated city, and Los Angeles is no exception.
Having a handful of bars to choose from within LA can make the decision to find the right location to spend the evening a difficult one. Should you go somewhere in Downtown? Should you go to one near the beach in Santa Monica? Or should you head east to a bar in Pasadena. When I faced those similar questions I opted for a place I hadn’t been to before, which happened to be outside any of those choices. I went to The Phoenix in Los Angeles to see what the bar on West 3rd Street was like.
With a friend by my side, we walked into the dimly lit bar. The aesthetic within the space was dark, seductive, with a tinge of intimacy that could be sparked even between perfect strangers. In the outdoor seating at the back of the restaurant, we sat and looked over the menu. Unsure what to get since everything seemed like it would taste good, we let the waitress order cocktails and entrees on our behalf. The first item to the table was the Paloma ($12) made with Milagro Blanco Tequila, Giffard’s Pamplemousse, lime, and a splash of soda, the cocktail was considered to be one of the bars sweeter drinks. Even for a “sweet drink”, the tequila was noticeable and strong within the glass. Within each sip the drink didn’t taste as balanced as it could have. It was easy to pinpoint the juice, the soda, and the liquors individually. I would have enjoyed it better if it was all blended together to the point that it was a smoother and more consistent cocktail.
As I sipped the cocktail, the first few food items made their way to the table. The first was the Phoenix House Salad ($10). The bowl of salad was comprised of mixed greens, pears, feta cheese, red onions, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and pepperoncini. The salad itself was light and crisp. Each forkful had fresh veggies from the tomatoes to the onions that burst with flavor in each bite. I loved the smooth feta that added a semi-creamy texture to the salad. However, the pears were a part that I could have done without. The slices in this salad were too soft that they almost tasted mushy. I finished the salad with the pears left on a plate and found it much better that way.
After the salad we had the Grilled Lamb Sausage – Merguez ($10). Served with a slice of grilled bread and sweet baby peppers the plate came off as small and modest in its appearance. In its taste, the lamb was soft and moist on the inside. With each bite, the skin of the sausage cracked and the juices that were held within it burst through. I really liked the sausage especially as I paired it with the lightly sweetened peppers. Combining it all with the buttery bread made the plate one I enjoyed.
Along with the plate of sausage, the waitress sent out a basket of Hand Cut Fries ($5). The thick cut fries were seasoned with sea salt, garlic, and rosemary. Like with any fries I adore, I love when they are slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. These were just that which meant the basket only had a brown piece of paper in it by the end of the dinner.
The last plate of the evening that the waitress chose for us was the 8oz Skirt Steak ($15). The slices of steak were topped with chimichurri and served with grilled bread. At this point, this was the third time we had bread which was starting to feel like a bit of overkill. Seeing the bread in the salad, with the lamb, and here again was a bit much. I would have been happy to have seen a different carb on the menu along with this plate such as potatoes but I continued with what I was given. Diving into the steak, I felt like the entrée as a whole was ok. The steak wasn’t as tender as I hoped it would be and it also wasn’t as juicy as I had expected. The chimichurri was a nice sauce to the steak that helped loosen it up by adding flavor. However, from start to finish, I felt it was lacking slightly since it wasn’t as tender and juicy as it could have been.
While there are many bars to choose from in Los Angeles, The Phoenix is a nice choice if you are going there solely on appearance and a few of their dishes. If you’re looking for a bar that has a strong menu and sweet cocktails then The Phoenix may not be the best option for you as of right now. Maybe with a few more months as the bar continues to develop and grow, its menu will reach the same level as its design aesthetic. When that happens, I will gladly return to see if all their dishes are as delicious as their name implies.
Address: 8480 W. 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (323) 655-5030
Hours: Sunday – 1:00pm to 2:00am and Monday through Saturday – 5:00pm to 2:00am
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Nice location
- Friendly staff
- Structure or street parking only
- Food is ok