11 June 2007

T.G.I.F. at Sofi Greek Restaurant

There are times when one just doesn't feel like cooking and I had one of those times a few Fridays ago. But thankfully for me, I didn't have to worry about firing up the stove and feeding myself that night, because I was meeting my cousin, C.P., for dinner at Sofi Greek Restaurant on 3rd St..

Sofi is a cozy place two doors down from A.O.C. You walk down a short alley and are greeted with an open patio area that is the outdoor part of the restaurant. Their indoor seating is to the right and is the dining room you see from the street.

The evening C.P. and I were there the patio was reserved for a private party, which also cause us some confusion when trying to get a table because the waiter thought we didn't want to sit unless we were seated outside. That wasn't the case for us, but we were having issues with communication, obviously. After a second attempt at talking with the waiter, we finally expressed ourselves in a manner that got us into the empty, and waiting, dining room, which was more than fine with me 'cause by that time all I wanted was to sit somewhere, anywhere, and eat something, anything. But throughout the night, it did seem the patio was the place of choice and much more popular with patrons. We had the quiet dining room all to ourselves virtually the whole evening while outside was buzzing.

C.P. being the nice, sweet girl she is let me takeover with ordering what we would eat, so that insured we would be dining on dips all night. While I like all the kinds of things Greek cuisine has to offer, what I really love the most are their dips. Give me every dip on the menu, an endless basket of warm pita bread, and a bottle of light and fruity Greek wine, and I'm a happy camper eating Greek any day 'n all day. But I wasn't going to scare C.P. with my extreme food ways this being only the second time I've hung out with her since she's been in LA, so I settled on two dips and a glass of wine for myself—C.P. wasn't drinking that night and I didn't want to seem a lush.

The dip that I order at every Greek restaurant, if I have my way, is Taramosalata, which is made with salt cured fish roe. Although some maybe put off by its slight fishiness, it's my favorite of the dips usually seen on a traditional menu. Sofi's was particularly buttery soft and silky smooth, and wonderfully rich with the warm pita. By the end of dinner, C.P. and I had pretty much clean the plate. Equally creamy was the Tsatziki, or yogurt with cucumber, the other dip of the night. While we ate some of it with pita, most of it was use to compliment the lamb dish that came later. And finally, there was Ochtapodi or broiled octopus marinated in olive oil, lemons, and herbs, which was surprisingly tender and had a texture I didn't expect—soft and almost milky.

We were still working on our appetizers when our entrées arrived to crowd our table even more. For me, the lamb or Arni Bouti was the winner of the night in the main dish category. The meat was sliced from a whole leg and served with a fluffy rice pilaf and soft green beans. I'm not a big fan of mushy veggies unless they are doused in cream, i.e. creamed spinach, creamed peas, creamed corn, so I ate my green beans, but I didn't necessarily like them. The rice, however, was really pleasing and well cooked. I'm often unhappy with rice in non-Asian restaurant, but this wasn't one of those times. The other big plate I ordered was Pastisio, or pasta layered with ground beef and tomatoes—the Greek take on lasagna. But Sofi's Pastisio came out layered with potatoes, so it was more of an au gratin. While still very tasty and a soft, comforting texture, I was disappointed that it was sans pasta.

Eating slowly and lingering over the food, C.P. and I managed to finish a lot of what I ordered, although it did leave us no room for desert; but Sofi did nothing to rush us out the door and we sat until well after 9:00 PM. So all in all, after a rough start of getting a table, we were able to sit at that table all we wanted and ultimately asked them for the check when we wanted to leave.

Sofi Greek Restaurant
8030 3/4 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
tel: 323-651-0346
fax: 323-651-0347

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Blogger s. said...

so, i hear papa christo's (in the byzantine-latino quarter -- i just love saying that) has a really fun and tasty thursday night communal table dinner. we should go check it out sometime.

6/14/2007 9:35 PM  
Blogger Blue Plate said...

definitely, let's.

6/19/2007 8:33 AM  

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