Crossroads Restaurant


"Crossroads is one of LA’s best Vegan Restaurants. This was my third time there and sadly it wasn’t the charm."

 

My first two experiences were phenomenal. Most of my young life I was a vegan and “back in the day” I/we were chomping on alfalfa sprouts, avocados and nuts. Vegans today don’t look anything like what we had at our fingertips and it certainly wasn’t in vogue.


I’ve taken vegans to Crossroads and it blew their minds. I have taken carnivores to Crossroads and have convinced them that Crossroads was a great choice in restaurants whether you eat meat or not.


This time I went with Chef Brando and Drew (true foodies) and I was excited to share the experience.


Granted, it was a Sunday and most likely the Chef Tal Ronnen, wasn’t in the kitchen and that usually means it isn’t quite the same but should be close. Thus, I was a little trepidatious.


The experience was hit and miss. The service was hit and miss. The three of us had the same experience and concurred they were not at the top of their game. Again, any of these dishes would have been MIND BLOWING 40 years ago but today our standards are immeasurably different.


I still love the ambiance of Crossroads. Feels a little like NY. A gorgeous long bar with a plethora of beautiful bottles on display. One of my favorite bars in LA. They weren’t quite ready to seat us so to the bar we went. Their mixologist, cocktail drinks and menu are usually inspired but sadly none of them were calling out to us. So, I had my favorite stand by, a vodka martini. Yes, I like it chilled but there were far too many ice chips in my not quite filled glass.


Once seated, Drew and Chef Brando shared a booth while I sat across in my own. They were uncomfortable. Too tight.


Astoundingly, the food came to the table mere minutes after ordering. So, we altered our ordering style and ordered in waves (by courses). All three of us wondering how fresh our food was. It was coming so fast…how could it be made to order?


There are the usual HITS and favorites at any restaurant and at Crossroads they are the Stuffed Blossoms, Impossible Cigars, Kale Salad and their Pizzas.

And their Blossoms and Cigars were killer. They did not disappoint. We could have ordered another round of both. The Hit!


Usually, I can’t get enough of their Kale salad and this time it was bland. Both Chef Brando and Drew looked at me like I was off my rocker cuz we all just took a couple of bites and left it on the plate. Not seasoned, not enough dressing. Yuck. The Miss!


The artichoke oysters were solid… Fun to pull a tasty bite from an artichoke leaf. Nothing to write home about. Solid. Cool idea. Would I order it again? Probably not. Neither Hit nor Miss!



We wanted to try two of the pizzas. The Mushroom Bianca and the Spicy Meatball Pizza. The Mushroom Pizza was phenomenal. Creamy, rich, cheesy, and full of flavor. If you have a hankering for pizza this is the one! You would be hard pressed to decipher in a blind test which pizza was vegan and which was not. Many would opt and say this was the best pizza. And it looked gorgeous and appetizing. I am still thinking about it and am dying to go back just for this pizza. Bravissimo…Impressive. The Hit!



The Spicy Meatball Pizza however looked unappetizing and tasted much the same. Soggy, flat without flavor. The impossible meat looked like shit and the cheese looked a curdled mess. We took a couple bites and left it. The Miss!


Onto the pastas, for a couple of extra dollars you can order your pasta gluten free. We did not. We chose the Spicy Rigatoni and the Carbonara. Again, hit and miss.


The Rigatoni had the perfect amount of spice. Super flavorful. The pasta was perfectly cooked and al dente. The sauce expertly caressed the little nooks and crannies of the Rigatoni. DELICIOUS…our forks couldn’t get enough. Scraped the dish clean. The Hit!


Though the Carbonara looked beautiful it was anything but. Bland, not seasoned correctly, unworthy of a second bite. The pasta not hitting your palate correctly. Again, we left it. The Miss!


And finally, we ordered all four desserts of which only three were available. They were ok…no real hits or misses.



The apple sorbet tasted like frozen Motts Apple Sauce. (literally). Lemon Mille Feuille was a little schizophrenic…Too much lime zest on the top, too little lemon curd inside.






The Brownie Sundae looked good but needed more brownie and more chocolate sauce. The ice cream was icy. Felt and tasted like freezer burn.

We left most of the desserts intact. Unimpressive.







 

"Uncharacteristically, I’ve never looked at their wine menu which is laughable and needs a lot of help."
 

As for their service…that too was hit and miss. It took too long to get our filtered water. The appetizers hit the table before we got water and when the water came it was wrong. Mistakenly, other diners’ orders came to our table. We got the sense that our waiter was a little scattered and not focused when he was in front of us and our service reflected exactly that. Hit and Miss.

It was a Sunday night and the restaurant was packed. For the 2 hours we were dinning not an empty seat in the house. Pandemic still raging…no outside seating…It was slammed. Bravo!


Redundantly. I can only describe this as The Hit and Miss Night.


I’ll give it another shot when I know Chef Tal Ronnen is 100% in the house. Fingers crossed.





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