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Sgt. Recruiter: More Wining in Los Feliz

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One of the most recent additions to the panoply of nightspots in Los Feliz is Sgt Recruiter, located on the stretch of Hollywood Boulevard that I think of as Wacko-Adjacent. Split off from Cobras & Matadors (it was the private room on the left when you entered), also under Steven Arroyo’s management, and named in homage to a wine bar in Paris, Sgt Recruiter has room for patrons to sit at 14 comfortable stools lined up along the length of the place.

Wine and beer are the potent potables on offer, and the menu is brief and to the point: Steak Frites, Moules Frites, onion rings, socca cakes (a Provençal chickpea-flour pancake), two or three kinds of oysters on the half-shell, and one or two specials. The white-tiled bar and terrific list of wines, all from California or France, fuel dreams of being in a little bar à vin in Montparnasse. But there are palm trees outside, and my friend Lori and I were two hungry women on our way – or so we thought – to a Friday night opening at Luz de Jesus.

Our bartender, Doug, was friendly and helpful, steering us toward the Gruet Blanc de Blancs (New Mexico bubbly – who knew?) with the knowledge and skill of someone who, he tells us, grew up and worked in restaurants in Napa. A glass—or was it two?—of fizzy stuff and we were ready to order: one Steak Frites, one Moule Frites.

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The flavorful steak was truly medium rare, topped with an herb butter (nice but not really needed) and surrounded by skinny fries. The mussels were steamed in wine and shallots and came with a personal-sized soufflé dish of fries. I was very happy, especially after Doug brought on the Adelaida “SLO” Pinot Noir, which led eventually to a “what the hell” order of onion rings instead of dessert.

At some point we switched back to the bubbly and forgot about the gallery opening, having made lots of new friends. Sgt Recruiter is a great place to stop by for a glass or two of wine, or (as we discovered) spend an evening. The simple menu addresses simple needs nicely. The only thing I’d add to it is something green, even a plain green salad. But that's a minor quibble. This is a fun new addition to the Los Feliz nabe.

Sgt Recruiter
4655 Hollywood Boulevard

Photos from Gypsy D'sphotostream on Flickr