helpful entire staff, good ok food, good certain wines, worst service, recommend tapas restaurant, great little place, nice ambience
Food 3 Service 0. This was arguably some of the worst service I've ever received. There were three chipped glasses served. The food was fair but the service soured the experience considerably. It was obvious that paying the corkage fee only made bringing wine permissible to the staff. They demonstrated their disdain by ignoring us and by serving food meant to be paired with red wine before the bottle of white wine was finished. Also, while the prices seem reasonable, the portions are small. And when you realize that you are not paying for the atmosphere, you are left wondering what is with the hype?
Fun Wine Tasting Experience, Mediocre Food.
Because it's randomly located on the edge of the 405 near Sepulveda, you feel like you've come across a hidden gem.
They have a fairly extensive wine menu, and they give you cute little coaster-type papers to remember which brands of wine you've tasted. The menu is decent- tapas, and the chef delivers complimentary taster dishes as well. I had no issues with the service, and in fact have gone to this restaurant twice, albeit accidentally.
Overall, though, it's just so-so. Worth checking out... But kind of like a "renter" more than a "theater-worthy".
Good value for a nice evening out.
For my husband's birthday I wanted to go somewhere we hadn't tried before, and I love small plates and wine (prefer whites), so Upstairs 2 fit the bill perfectly. Indeed, there was a long list of wines by the glass and a wide variety of hot & cold tapas. You could even order small (2.5 oz) glasses of wine. It was hard to choose. We split 5 tapas between us and that was about right. Granted, we also ate quite a bit of delicious bread dipped in olive oil. My only complaint was that the tomato sauce with the swiss-chard-tofu ravioli was WAY too salty. (Don't worry, carnivores, you can't taste the tofu.) Service was professional and helpful without being overbearing, and the pacing of the courses was neither too rushed nor too slow. When the bill came--wow-- I wouldn't have mind splurging for a special occasion dinner but it was only $60 total including 2 glasses of wine!
On a Thursday night the place wasn't totally full, but it's probably easier to make a reservation. The tables are rather close together so it's not exactly an intimate dining experience, but it's comfortable enough.
Great gourmet cuisine for intimate experience or for larger parties.
This review is going to be not just for the restaurant, but for an entire experience that my wife and I had here when we decided to have the reception for our wedding at Upstairs 2.
First the restaurant: the food is excellent, creative, fun. The wine selection is among the best you will find in Los Angeles. The service is outstanding and the atmosphere is both aesthetically pleasing and inviting. My wife is French, and she raved about the food, the wine and the service. She is demanding, so this says a lot.
The real reason I am writing this review, however, is because of the absolutely amazing experience that my wife and I had using Upstairs 2 as a reception for our wedding. It is important to underscore not just how happy we were with the result--the food, the setting, the service--but also, the entire process and chef Todd Barrie's impeccable professionalism from the first meeting to the event itself.
Todd Barrie is not just an amazing chef, but an extremely congenial person. He met with us multiple times long before the wedding, maintained contact with us up until the reception, discussed with us the different options, gave us samples of food and wine, and was incredibly responsive to our desires and (sometimes unorthodox) ideas. The price was very reasonable considering the all-around excellence. The entire staff at Upstairs 2 was friendly, helpful, and unpretentious. A miracle in Los Angeles.
If you have any sort of event that you would like to plan for 50-60 people, this venue is ideal. The food was just as outstanding for 50 people as it was during our other experiences at Upstairs 2. So for an evening out or for a larger party, I recommend Chef Todd Barrie enthusiastically.
good wines, ok food. my girlfriends and i tried out this westside wine and tapas place. the ambience is nice and cozy. it is good for small groups to share the small plates. we particularly enjoyed the crabcakes although it was not spectacular. the shrimp and rice was good -- all my friends loved the black rice, i thought it was too hard. the red pork with cabbage was sweet with a bit of an asian flavor. the prosciutto was not very good -- i thought it was too dry... the flourless chocolate cake was pretty good and the pudding was ok. on the plus side, we enjoyed all the wines we sampled. the service was great -- they were helpful and friendly and made good wine suggestions.
Great Concept. I really enjoy the ability to try a myriad selection of wines and small plates here - the wines are, for the most part, good and the food is generally good - nothing extraordinary but enjoyable. my friends and i tried almost everything on the menu and the standouts were the shrimp on black rice, the crab cakes, the scallop on lemon risotto and the flat breads ... we were disappointed in the proscuitto which was quite tough and veiny. i would definitly return to try more wines, etc. but i agree with some of the other reviewers in that this cannot compare with aoc, but is a cheaper alternative. ambience is ok. service was also pretty good, but not particularly special.
Fabulous, relaxed wine bar. I just went for the first time last night, and loved it! The food was excellent (order the venison, and the white corn salad), the wines were interesting, and the bill was reasonable. The staff was really nice, helpful, and knowledgeable. The decor is definitely a bit lacking, but overall it's a great alternative to some of the other west side wine bars, especially if you want a quieter evening and more high-end wines.
WONDERFUL SMALL BUT INTIMATE WINE BAR AND TAPAS RESTAURANT! HIDDEN GEM!. Myou wouldnt know it from seeing the outside...its upstairs from a huge wine warehouse...but its a beautifully decorated little restaurant with only about 10 tables....the owner is kind of s snooty fruity guy but the little tapas are fantastic and VERY well priced..starting at just 4 or 5 bucks and upwards.the great thing is you can buy the wine and taste it by carafe, glass, or even half glassits fun and they have a great selection.this is a wonderful little intimate place to share some wine and little snacks of foodportions are small but I need to lose weight anyways! The only thing is the crowd is much older than other hip placesaverage age is probably 40-50. but still a great little place.
Forgettable food, over-priced wine, obnoxious staff, lame crowd.
As fans of the Wine House we had high expectations for this place. It was very disappointing.
We called to make a reservation and were told they couldn't take us until 8:45. We showed up at 7:30 and the place was empty. The dining room was poorly decorated and cramped, so we sat at the bar.
The food was average. We had some good cheese and a decent duck salad and pasta boulliabaise. My "five peppercorn rib eye" on the other hand was mostly fat and lacking in flavor. The sauce wasn't good either.
The wines were okay. I had a decent pinot and both the rose and sauvignon blanc my girlfriend ordered were fine. I asked the extremely obnoxious sommelier (who made stupid, faux-self-depricating remarks to underscore just how MUCH really GREAT wine he personally had tasted...great pal, that's your job) how the Amarone was and he suggested instead an Ojai grenache as a pairing for my rib eye. That seemed like an odd pairing with steak, but I decided to try it. 2.5 ounces of grenache was $12. This stuff sells for $30 a bottle downstairs. Furthermore, it wasn't very good. And when the bartender asked me if I liked it and I said no, she told me I was actually wrong and that it was very good. So why ask me, then?
So we spent $120 to drink the equivalent of 2 1/2 glasses of wine and eat a couple appitizers. I was still hungry when we left but decided I'd rather go home and boil some pasta. Atmosphere was remiscent of a Holiday Inn conference room. Crowd was stuffy, old and pretentious. I'd say the highlight of our meal was listening in as the woman next to us struggled to describe the type of Syrah she enjoys, using a mind-boggling array of completely ambiguous terms (if you must know, she likes it "juicy, but not too ripe, but really, like, California-y").
AOC is a bit of a scene but it's far, far superior to Upstairs in every respect.
Not great tapas, but the place has potential..
This is an interesting place. Upstairs from the Wine House (which is a wonderful wine store), this restaurant attempts to present the customers of the wine shop with a tapas menu alongside wine by the glass program. Overall this place is ok, and I recommend it for a late dinner on the Westside.
The place is open until 1am, which is a plus. I would recommend this restaurant for a midnight snack, as unfortunately in Los Angeles we have very few good restaurants which are open late.
The wine list is impressive, including by the glass selection. It is a plus that the place offers 2.5 oz testings of all the wines on the by the glass menu.
The food is good. Just, good, nothing special.
The food is good, but I can think of a number of places in the vicinity where the food is far superior. While I would qualify the food as gourmet, it is nothing to brag about. In short, if you are looking for tapas, this is not the place to go for the best in LA.
I had ordered two 2.5 oz glasses of wine, the second of which did not seem as if it had been filled fully. I am wondering if the place is jipping people on already overpriced drinks. I was also left with an impression that the waiter was pushing certain wines (we dined late, and I wondered if they were trying to sell already opened bottles).
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