Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Federal Bar

Simplicity. In A City That's Anything But
Celebrations of birthdays, sometimes the only way to go. My friend Nicole, always willing to try new things, new places, maybe not always new people, but hey, that’s okay. She has good taste in food and drink, so it seems only natural that she chose a newer place in the San Fernando Valley (probably the more truer part), called The Federal Bar. It’s an old Bank of America building, and I can say with full pride that walking into a now defunct Bank of America branch that has become a full-fledged bar, was pretty effing awesome.
The building is brick on the inside, a more laidback restaurant version downstairs, a bar with a couches and a dance floor upstairs. Alas, this is not a review of the bar itself (though it could be), but of a particular appetizer I had after arriving and meeting up with the Girls.

On the left hand side is a sausage flatbread pizza. Thick slices of sausage, smoked mozzarella, ricotta, onions and basil. The sauce was a house marinara, and it was good enough to want to wish they put more on the actual pizza. But! The cheese was magnificent, and I personally find anything that is smoked utterly mouthwateringly divine.
On the right hand side is the reason for this post. It was a bruschetta plate, “confit tomato”, house boursin cheese, and speck.
The edges of the bread were browned and crispy, with the middle still soft and slightly sour, so it held the ingredients very well. And honestly, that’s a big deal, because it was standing room only, really, and I had to hold my bruschetta in one hand, my awesome vodka martini (three olives, always) in the other.
Boursin cheese is a soft, creamy French cheese, and while my pack thought it was cream cheese, it really was very far from that. It had a twang, like a Southern or Midwestern accent, something that was unexpected but so incredibly delightful.
The tomatoes were soft, succulent (or as succulent as a tomato can be), just the right size on the grilled bread. They were sweet and far from anything that took a lot of effort to chew. It was literally melt in your mouth, and I am going to assume that this is a good thing. It’s definitely my way to eat.
Lastly, topped was the speck. Speck is an Austria ham, juniper flavored and smoky. I loved it, and really, really wished there was more. As one can see, it’s a tiny sliver of pink across the larger reds, whites, and browns. I wish there had been bit more, but as I write this, I might have to think that more would have been too much.
Though, I would have loved to have had that chance to find out, and take a bit off the top, to savor it in between my fingers, all by itself. To sip my martini afterwards. And be happy with the simplicity that was this dish, and my drink.

I shall return.

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