|Me: Celebrating my 41st birthday almost 60 days later|
My birthday is to me, what January 1st is to most people: An opportunity to start fresh.
Unfortunately this year, my husband didn't plan my birthday party, nor did I plan a four-day mini-vacation.
What I did, instead, was to lay face-up in a cold operating room while waiting for my gall bladder to be removed.
Happy birthday to me.
While it was literally impossible to remember that it was my birthday until I checked my Facebook page to read the hundreds of well-intentioned messages, I hated not celebrating my day.
Selfish? Not really.
|Sharon and Suzanne celebrating with me at |
SmithHouse Tap & Grill in West LA/Century City
Having probably one of the most stressful months in recent memory, I was not up for one of my typical restaurant scenes.
I wanted to, instead, enjoy a casual night out, eat (not nibble) good food, and have a "stiff drink."
|Our first round: Old Fashioned, Old Fashioned and a 7/7/7|
Located within a comfortable 10 minute walk, or three minute car drive of my urban oasis, the SmithHouse replaces a once empty sushi bar, jazz joint and steakhouse.
Fourth try is a charm - or at least that is the hope!
Being that Houston's closed a few months back (sniff-sniff), it was only logical that Westside commuters quickly replace their after-hours pit stop with a watering hole "wanting-to-be-Houston's," yet (unfortunately) closely resembling a place I loath: The Yard House.
As such, the crowd on a Thursday evening was 90% 30-something commuters, and a sprinkling of locals: fully ignoring the pseudo meat market (AKA singles trying to mingle).
Stay pass 9 p.m. and it's all locals with a few "drank-too-much" commuters. The weekends, according to the manager and our waiter (Huge props to Erick!), is 99% locals. (Which is the number one reason I will probably only go back on either a Saturday or Sunday.)
The SmithHouse is known for the hundreds of beers of tap on their menu. Which I don't drink.
What I did drink was my much anticipated "stiff drink," AKA old fashioned.
It was OK. Just OK.
As in: I've had better.
Now on to the menu...
|Sapporo Beer-Battered Rock Shrimp Appetizer|
First off, if you are a fan of a-little-bit-of-everything-restaurants, the menu will make you squeal with delight because there is SOO much to pick from!
For the rest of us: it's all about the comfort food, with a twist.
|Crab Mac & Cheese|
As a matter of fact, everything we ate was usually followed with a "this was good, but was missing something." Or, "this could be so much better if it had..."
You get the gist of it.
|Smithhouses' signature beer battered wings with Hobgoblin|
brown ale and SmitHouse's Red Hot Glaze
|Grilled Herbed Steak Salad|
That is why we ordered "tapas-style," shared and still had left-overs!
|New York Style Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce|
& Whipped Cream
Overall, I had an amazing time. Which brings me to this very important point: It is all about the company.
Although the lively atmosphere might be a little too obnoxious for my I've-been-there-and-done-that-age-group, the location is perfect and, from what we were told, the restaurant will feature a live band during brunch and a spring-time shrimp boil!
If only for that, I will be returning with my hubby very soon - but of course, only on the weekends!