Tuesday, March 31, 2009

L2 : Philadelphia

L2 was really an odd bird. I just couldn't get over the strikingly bizarre decor. I felt like I was in an old basement. It was dark and the walls still were in the original unfinished concrete state, which could fly if you go full-hog with that minimalist style. But then you add maroon velvet seats and random decorations seemingly collected from garage sales and flea markets and I couldn't quite decide whether it was more the taste of an eccentric old lady or a goth teenager. Either way, the decor was distractingly strange.

But it was really the juxtaposition of the food and the decor that had me scratching my head. While the decor was dark and oppressive, the food had been prepared with a surprisingly light hand.

Apple & Carrot Soup - My gf and I had never had apple and carrot soup before and while this combination was completely new to us, it really grew on us spoonful after spoonful. In each bite, there was movement in flavor from the initial carrot taste to the sweeter apple flavor. Both were somewhat delicate and subtle, but nonetheless quite good. I want to say that there was celery in the soup, but I just can't recall it at the moment (either it was blended like the carrot or in miniscule pieces - either way it was not a major flavor). This was such an interesting way to begin the meal, making me wonder: is it possible for someone to have such bad taste in interior decoration yet have good taste in food?

Homemade Meatloaf - I never grew up with meatloaf, but my impression of it is that it's most commonly like a meal of turkey and mashed potatoes: heavy and served with a dollop of gravy.

But what the dickens? This was light? The sauce instead of being the standard heavy, fatty gravy was more viscous and hence made the meatloaf lighter yet still moist. I will say however that the flavor was a little more restrained than I would have liked and the accompanying vegetables/potatoes were nothing special. But it was certainly surprising to be able to order a meatloaf and not be stuffed afterwards.

Chilean Sea Bass - Again, the sea bass was light - juicy and almost flaky, the fish was cooked as it should have been; my only problem with it was that it was somewhat low on flavor.

Chocolate cake - Hmm, I'm trying to remember the chocolate cake but am having some trouble. I do recall the little squirts of decorative jam stuff was like overly sweet processed jam. But nope, sorry nothing. Can't recall the chocolate cake.

Anyways, we walked out of L2 satisfied with the meal, but feeling like we probably wouldn't come back. While I liked the soup, the lightness of the cooking and the portions, the flavors just were too plain and the whole atmosphere/decor was a big turn-off.

2201 South St Philadelphia, PA 19146 (Map)
(215) 732-7878
l2restaurant.com | Yelp

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