[RESTAURANT REVIEW] Mixed Company
Is it a bakery? A wine bar? A place for a lunch meeting, or a spot that’s open for dinner after other kitchens are closed? Silver Lake’s Mixed Company is all of the above, but it doesn’t seem to be suffering any kind of identity crisis.
Instead, in just a few months, the former laundromat space next to the Black Cat has become the neighborhood’s go-to spot for casual bites, working meals, and especially for bring-your-doggy-to-dinner meals. Open seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., Mixed Company’s fresh and modern menu strikes a balance between indulgent and healthy.
The well-executed pastries have creative touches, like a peanut butter and jelly croissant, vegan coconut brownie or a strawberry jalapeno blondie.
Inside, several counters with stools give off a coffee shop vibe (coffee is from Wisconsin’s Ruby), while a pastry case and wood-burning pizza oven showcase the carb-centric offerings.
There are some indoor tables, but most diners gravitate to the pleasant patio, which is well-screened from the street by planters and likely to harbor any number of hopefully well-behaved breeds at a given time.
“This place screams Silver Lake 2017,” one online commenter said, and though it does, that’s not such a bad thing, just because there are bowls of various grains topped with fried eggs, chile paste, or chorizo ragout, a rainbow-hued mural on the side of the building, and a no-tipping policy. All the prices include service, which puts them on the higher side, though they’re comparable to other recent additions to the area.
Wine and beer selections are strong, with unusual wines from Greece, Spain, Italy and California. Sherry on tap is a nice Spanish touch, and most bottles of wine are in the $40 to $45 range. If you want to continue your evening at home, wine and beer are also available to go, making it a truly multi-purpose stop.
At dinner, grilled branzino benefits from a pleasant char and a lemony marinade, and we’re willing to forgive the name “spicyass carrots” because the roasted roots topped with harissa and hazelnuts are positively delicious by any name. A salad of black kale with carrot vinaigrette and hemp seeds could use just a little more oomph but it’s certainly healthy.
Pizzas like fennel sausage with pickled peppers are better than might be expected from such a multi-tasking kitchen, with a pleasantly chewy crust and a decidedly sour tang.
Desserts like plum and almond upside down cake are brightened with fresh fruits and vibrant plum sorbet.
Though the name Mixed Company might seem easy to forget, the versatility of the spot is easy to remember.