Grand opening: The Blue Cow kitchen & bar

When I’m craving a quality sandwich in downtown Los Angeles, I head over to Mendocino Farms. Their seasonal menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches are made with fresh ingredients and prepared to order.  And I admit, you can’t beat their rainy day special for their Ham And Gruyere grilled cheese for just $6.50. But why am I talking about them when this post is about The Blue Cow?

My food blogger pal, Lynn Chen, told me the Mendocino Farms folks were opening a sit-down restaurant and bar in downtown Los Angeles. Immediately, my tastebuds perked up when I heard this! Lynn then invited me as her plus one for one of the preview days where we had our meals comped. How could I resist!? The new restaurant is called The Blue Cow kitchen & bar. It’s located in California Plaza where Casa used to be and grand opening to the public is… today, Monday, February 13, 2012.

From the moment you approach the restaurant to scanning the interiors, the aesthetics is very Mendocino Farms – rustic and comfortable.

And yes, this place has a bar with bars on tap and a menu of specialty cocktails. For this trip, we didn’t have any alcoholic beverage but I’m hoping to head back one of these days to check out their happy hour – yes, they have one!

Let’s talk about the food. They have a lunch and dinner menu. We chose from the lunch menu. We started with the “Baked and Fried Potatoes” that came with housemade horseradish ketchup and sour cream-onion whip dip.

The potatoes had a perfect crunch when you took a bite – and it was hot and soft in the middle – perfectly done. These are large potato wedges and perfect to share for 2-3 people as an appetizer. We also got an order of the “Root Chips ‘n Dips” which is basically crispy roots that are thinly sliced and crunchy like potato chips served with a side of sour cream-onion whip dip.

For the main course, I wanted to be different and get a plate but I couldn’t resist the hamburger. It’s an 8 oz. grass fed Marin county beef paddy with butter lettuce and some spicy remoulade on a buttermilk bun… also added a applewood bacon to indulge myself a little. I figure if you can serve up a simple burger well, other stuff on the menu is worth coming back for. I was not disappointed.

The burger paddy was juicy and flavorful. The buttermilk bun and stuffing was a perfect combination. It’s a tall burger so I had to smash it down but despite that, they kept the burger simple yet refined. I hate it when burgers are complicated – it should be simple where you can taste each of the layers between the bun. Well done, Blue Cow.

Across the table from me, Lynn ordered the “BarbaFaux’s Torta” which is a vegan dish.

The torta roll is stuffed with seitan and pinto beans that have been braised in chipotle agave BBQ sauce. There’s also some tofu, avacado, and lettuce. I’m usually on the fence about seitan and tofu because if it’s not marinated properly, it’s pretty tasteless. I have to say, Blue Cow did a great job of putting flavor into this torta. Granted, I only had a bite of it. If you want the close-up photos and more info, check out Lynn’s post here.

We had hoped to try their dessert but they only serve that for dinner. Guess I’ll have to go back for that… and happy hour!

The Blue Cow kitchen & bar
350 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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