The other day, I went out to lunch with my friend Jordan. I had heard so much about Mohawk Bend and its impressive menu (both bar and food) that I had to try it out. This place is located in Echo Park. And if you know anything about anything, you’ll know that Echo Park is so hot right now. It basically stole the hipster epicenter title from Silverlake. Jordan, although not a hipster (but originally from Portland – IRONY), is a culinary student. With that being said, it wasn’t very hard to convince him to accompany me. Mohawk Bend is a hip little (big) gastropub where carnivores and vegans can coexist. It’s truly a beautiful place.
They use local and organic ingredients, and have seventy-two beers on tap. I know, shit’s ridiculous. Our server, Blake, was incredibly adorable, and bubbly (in the least annoying way possible). She was very knowledgable about all the beverages, both alcoholic, and non-alcoholic. She had me sample a bunch of different beers ranging from IPAs and Hefeweizens, to Russian Imperials and Oatmeal Stouts. They were all amazing and crafted in California.
I couldn’t choose one, so I just ordered a glass of their Vinum Cellars pinot noir. If you know me you’re probably all, “typical Victoria.” Tee-hee.
Jordan got all fancy with it and ordered St. George Absinthe Verte, Czech style. I had never seen this done before, so I obviously took a picture, or seven. Okay, fine. Fifteen. It was served neat, with rocks on the side. It was quite a production. Blake set a water cooler/dispenser thing on the table, then lit the sugar cube on fire. After the flame went out, she set the water to an incredibly slow drip. The sugar began dissolving into the absinthe, and before he knew it (about twelve minutes later), Jordan had himself an awesome cocktail. The drink became cloudy once he added a few ice cubes. I tried it, and it was actually pretty fantastic. It was strong, but I could definitely appreciate it. The aroma was one of the nicest things about it. Extremely crisp and clean, with lots of floral notes. Hints of lemon came through, and the basil added a nice depth as well. The flavor was pretty spicy, but had somewhat of a sweet finish. Okay, enough about absinthe.
As soon as I put the glass down, my heart stopped. I remembered that I forgot (that sounds silly) to put money in the meter! I ran outside, and rest assured, there was no ticket. I digress. On to the food! I probably reread the menu eleventy-thousand times. EVERYTHING SOUNDED SO GOOD. Blake suggested we start with the Buffalo-style Cauliflower. So, we did. It was delicious! Nice and hot, but not too hot. It was served over some vegan “bleu cheese” dressing to cool it down a bit as well as some celery slices.
Next up was entrées. I finally narrowed it down to a couple choices; Heart of Palm “Crabcakes”, the Mediterranean Platter, Avo & Chips, or the Vegan Burger. Our server suggested something totally different. It threw me for a loop, but ended up ordering it. What was the dish? Well, if you must know, it was their Soba Noodle Salad (soba noodles, radish, avocado, orange, crispy onion, sesame, carrot, soy vinaigrette).
Jordan’s decision was a little easier than mine. He was split between Avo & Chips, or Fish & Chips. He went with the latter (ipa-battered cod, fries, horseradish slaw, malt vinegar, caper aioli).
We were both very pleased with our meals, and unfortunately too full for dessert. Our experience at Mohawk Bend was incredible (thank you, Blake!). I hope to someday become a regular. To whoever is reading this (does anyone even read my blog??), go give this place a chance. You can thank me later.