Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Engine Co. No. 28

“Didn’t anyone ever tell you to treat a ketchup bottle like a woman?”

I looked up at my boyfriend, looked down at the bottle, and slammed my fist onto its bottom repeatedly.

“Now you’ll never get any” he said, without a hint of irony. “You’ve clogged it now.”

Unfortunately, my ketchup bottle playing hard-to-get was the most entertaining aspect of my lunch at Engine Co. No. 28. The pile of Spicy Garlic Fries (does every restaurant in Downtown LA have garlic fries?) was pretty good, and I enjoyed the slow build of heat from the red pepper flakes coating them. I had the grilled chicken and watercress sandwich and vegetarian chili, which comes with guacamole, pico de gallo and cheddar shreds, and my boyfriend had angel hair pasta coated with olive oil with a few chunks of tomato thrown in, for a total of around $40. For a restaurant built in a 1912 fire station, Engine Co. 28 lacks excitement.

The architecture, more than the food, is worth the price of a meal. What is now the restaurant was once the apparatus room where the station’s two motor-driven fire trucks were kept, but in the early 1900s, even garages were elegant. The 18-foot pressed tin ceilings and the giant metal door through which patrons enter are impressive, and the enlarged black and white pictures of Los Angeles’ horse-drawn fire engines pay respects to L.A.’s history, much of which has been torn down since the turn of the century.

644 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 624-6996
Reservations are recommended.

No comments: