Just recently when my parents came to stay, my mum and I decided to have a little girls night out. We went down Hardware Lane in search of a place to eat and everywhere was packed. It can be quite hectic there at night with all the waiters swooping on you and trying to get you inside for a meal. There were so many old sleazy Italian men hitting on my mum in an attempt to convince us to eat there. I was not at all impressed with this!
Vons was the first place along the street that didn't harass us or plead with us to come in. (It makes me wonder about the quality of the food when the waiter is so desperate to get you inside... shouldn't it just speak for itself?). The setting was quite nice as we were outside and next to one of the bands. (Live music and food go together so nicely!)
The staff were quite disorganised and tried to take our order several times after we had ordered, but they were also friendly and fun. I watched one of the girls give the waitress across the road ballroom dancing lessons while there was a lull. It was very cute.
We ordered the paella to share and it was huge! It was probably enough for three people instead of two. I was a little sceptical of ordering this dish because it is something that either can be done really well or really badly. It was quite good though and I really enjoyed it. All the vegetables were cooked just right and the seafood was lovely. I'm not going to say it was the best meal I ever had, or it was amazingly good, but I did really enjoy it. All the food on the menu looked tasty and honest. (I hope you know what I mean by honest food... Food that is hearty and good.)
For desert we had the creme brulee, which was also quite nice. It was served with a strawberry cumquat which complimented it very nicely. I love having this desert (and making it, for that matter) because its just so pretty. The contrast between the smooth and the crunchy is lovely and if done well it just melts in your mouth.
It was a really nice night out. The sort of place to go with a few girls, or on a little date, when you want to eat something nice but can't be bothered with all that fine dining fiasco. I wouldn't make it my favourite place, but would probably go back again.