NICK'S RETAINS A LITTLE ZEN.Byline: LARRY LIPSON
Nick's Grill in Studio City is in the same location and under the same ownership as the short-lived Zen Chi.
Nick's reveals a new menu that makes a lot more sense. It retains a few of Zen Chi's Asian-accented items while offering a revised listing of salads, sandwiches (mostly burgers) and wraps, along with an expanded dinner bill of fare.
But don't necessarily expect to find Nick's Grill's phone number listed. It was still using Zen Chi's earlier this week.
And there are no obvious decor changes, either.
The new restaurant also wants to offer somewhat of a morning presence, albeit for late risers, with an omelet and scrambled-eggs menu segment available to lunchtime customers.
Hoping to attract the post-dinner crowd, there are a handful of late-night, small-bite items to pair with a reduced-price beer list and a number of Korean soju cocktails at lowered cost from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.
A du jour du jour
1. Prepared for a given day: The soup du jour is cream of potato.
2. Most recent; current: the trend du jour. soup ($4.95) of mushroom and asparagus asparagus, perennial garden vegetable (Asparagus officinalis) of the family Liliaceae (lily family), native to the E Mediterranean area and now naturalized over much of the world. with bacon, full of flavor despite being a tad salty, proves the kitchen has talent in that direction. However, a listed soup, chicken vegetable ($4.95), has yet to be available.
Crab taquitos (two for $5.95) served with guacamole are crunchy and good. Steamed Manila clams in a garlicky gar·lick·y
Containing, tasting of, or smelling of garlic.
Adj. 1. garlicky - relating to or tasting or smelling of garlic; "garlicky sauce" broth ($8.50 or $14.95), are generously portioned, but some have been cooked to pastiness. And there is no crusty crust·y
adj. crust·i·er, crust·i·est
1. Having, resembling, or being a crust.
2. Rough or surly in manner. See Synonyms at gruff. bread accompaniment to be had with them.
Lamb chops ($22.95), one of Nick's grilled signature dishes, though plated with tasty scalloped scal·lop also scol·lop or es·cal·lop
a. Any of various free-swimming marine mollusks of the family Pectinidae, having fan-shaped bivalve shells with a radiating fluted pattern.
b. potatoes and vegetables, display unfortunate toughness.
But a double Angus burger with double cheese and hickory-smoked bacon ($14.50) plus lettuce, tomato and red onion and a bonus heap of curry-flavored sweet potato sweet potato, trailing perennial plant (Ipomoea batatas) of the family Convolvulaceae (morning glory family), native to the New World tropics. Cultivated from ancient times by the Aztecs for its edible tubers, it was introduced into Europe in the 16th cent. fries (add $1.50) make for a satisfactory, if pricey, noontime noon·time
See noon. meal, the only flaw being an oily surface on the bun.
A Cobb salad The Cobb salad was a signature menu item of the legendary Brown Derby in Hollywood, a landmark restaurant in Los Angeles, California. Variations of the salad are now served in restaurants world-wide. ($10.95) with chicken (or steak), though not presented well, has gratifying grat·i·fy
tr.v. grat·i·fied, grat·i·fy·ing, grat·i·fies
1. To please or satisfy: His achievement gratified his father. See Synonyms at please.
Nick's, it would seem, has plenty of potential.
Hopefully it will be realized soon.
At its best: A decent bowl of soup and an uncomplicated sandwich or salad can be enjoyed here with a chilled bottle of brew like Red Nectar ale ($4.95) or a glass of wine.
Could be better: Servers' knowledge needs improvement. Quality of ingredients (i.e. tender lamb) and availability of crusty bread with soups, salads, steamed clams et al. needs some attention. Presentation needs work; the way the original Cobb salad, for example, was presented at the Hollywood Brown Derby For the liquor stores, see .
The Brown Derby was a landmark restaurant in Los Angeles frequented by celebrities during the Golden Age of Hollywood. It was an example of novelty architecture, known for being physically shaped like a brown derby hat. (where it was first served) made it a memorable dish -- and eventually a classic.
>Where: 11334 Moorpark St., Studio City.
>When: Open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays, for dinner from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. nightly. Late snack menu from 9:30 to midnight. (818) 760-3890.
>Cost: Appetizers and small plates from $2 to $11, sandwiches and salads from $7.50 to $14.50, entrees from $11.50 to $23, desserts: $6 to $8.
>Noteworthy: Reasonable prices on wine list (as low as $16 per bottle). Attractive entrance featuring a large Buddha and mini-pond.
>Our rating: Two stars
no caption (NICK'S GRILL)
TOM MENDOZA>STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER