Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bodega Wine Bar - Not a Star

Last Friday I ventured out to Santa Monica to join some coworkers at Bodega Wine Bar. There is also a location in Pasadena. From what I heard about it, the wine was all the same price (good) and there was amazing grilled cheese (great!). The place is really cute inside with lots of little tables to sit at, which is nice, as well as a good sized bar area with lots of wine bottles on the wall for decoration.

We got a little corner table which was cute but very impractical, what with the huge plates for the appetizers we got and the wines in wine-coolers which take up a lot of room-- not to mention everybody's glasses. The cheese plates basically sat on our laps for most of the night, and glasses piled up so quickly that we had to stack them and put them on the floor-- where are the table bussers in this place? So that was a bit annoying though I liked the hip yet cozy decor. The crowd was pretty yuppie, as you would expect, and the place was well filled but not overflowing by the end of the night.

For wine, I sampled a few different whites, which the group was in the mood for. All were decent and refreshing, nothing amazing but good prices at $8 a glass, $20 a carafe and $30 a bottle for everything, which is a little sketchy but whatever, just drink and don't think about it too much. We were a big group and got all bottles.

The wine menu has very lengthy and detailed descriptions of the different flavors and characteristics of each wine. This often sort of bothers me because it takes all the fun and individuality out of tasting different wines. Also, some of the descriptions were pretty off. For example, there was a Pinot Grigio I chose based largely on its description which included the words "dry" and "crisp", but the wine was actually quite sweet and even apple juice-esque. I did not enjoy that and it was not what I wanted or expected. We also had a prosecco which I liked very much. For non-winos, there is beer, sake and soju cocktails, but no hard liquor, which makes me shed a silent tear deep in my heart.

For food, we ordered a cheese plate which had a good variety of six different cheeses, dried apricots, almonds, and little wafer crackers that reminded me of communion wafers. We also ordered that famous grilled cheese. It consisted of sliced green apples and okay-tasting melted brie on very soft and yummy dried-fig challah bread. It was tasty although I thought it could have been improved if it were grilled longer or if the brie were nicer. All this cheese, though, made me happy in general. Nothing goes better with drinking in my opinion.

All in all, not a bad little place. But nowhere near the best wine bars I've been to (even though it won best wine bar on Citysearch three years in a row- weirded out?). I would probably look for another wine bar to sample before heading back.


Drinks and Appetizers: (2.5)Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Experience: (2.5)Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Overall: (2.5)Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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