Monday, February 4, 2013

Bread & Jam for Hipsters: Sqirl

No one has ever accused me of being a hipster, but I'm not anti-hipster. I frequently rub shoulders with the hipster crowd at Intelligentsia or at my daughter's school, where I'm one of the only parents without visible tattoos, but sometimes I wonder about the hipster culture. The new breakfast and lunch spot, hiply spelled Sqirl is a prime example. Do we really need a restaurant that sells bread and jam for $8-$13? That's the concept of the Virgil Avenue storefront that is Sqirl. Sure, it's good bread and jam, and some of it has greens or cheese on it, but it's still bread and jam.

How hipster is this place? Well, they don't serve decaf, they have a tumblr with random photos, the only places to sit are plastic chairs and wooden cubes that look like they were pulled out of a particularly sad neighborhood yard sale, and you pay by ipad.

Praise has been heaped on this place from all directions, including from Jonathan Gold, but I keep getting the feeling that it's some kind of joke. It's as if the preserve making proprietors were sitting around their hipster pad and said, "hey, this foodie stuff has run amok; I bet we could charge people $10 for toast and jam." Hell, it almost sounds like some wannabe screenwriter's wacky comedy manuscript, soon to be a major studio picture starring Zooey Deschanel as a Manic Pixie Jam Maker who helps some poor dude get his groove back with toast and jam.

720 North Virgil Ave #4
Los Angeles, CA 90029


sam k said...

Yet more evidence of the decline of civilization as we know it. We had a restaurant here for a year or so that specialized in cereal. Froot Loops, for God's sake!

As long as Zooey sings in the movie, I'm fine.

Lazer said...

Do they have any Woodford Preserve?

SinoSoul said...

This is totally not fair sku, and highly un-recenteats of you.

Ria Wilson's instagram (yes, you have to follow the sous chef on instagram to get menu updates) show quiches, lobster rolls, red snapper fish cake, frittata, crap dips, sandwiches, fried rice and porridge.

None of this counters the pricing of the "bread and jam", but Koslow is working hard to expand the menu (as well as acquire a Type 41). She really has nothing but the best of intentions, and I could only beg for something of the caliber to open in my neighborhood.

Alas, the parking/seating situation means I'm probably not going to visit until 2014, but still, they're doing with good things to good (and interesting) ingredients, which is something we can't say for majority of "restaurants" in LA.

sku said...

Yikes, when Sinosoul thinks I'm too harsh, that's tells me something. I based the review on the toast and jam products which I understood to be the specialties. After all, they were a jam maker first. I'm glad to hear they are expanding the menu, though I certainly didn't see any lobster roll or fish cake when I was there.