The Ally Restaurant was one of the most interesting restaurants I've ever had the pleasure of reviewing. Not only did they make this strangely good spaghetti with ground beef, bacon and a fried egg, they cooked Asian stir-fried noodles, bánh mì, French bread pizzas, burgers, chicken wings, paninis, rice bowls, burritos, tacos, tater tots with chopped pineapple, bacon-wrapped dates and spaghetti nacho-cheese fries. The Ally closed earlier a few months ago after almost a three year run.
Now a new gastropub called Project West has taken over. Their menu is shorter but not any less ambitious. They're still in soft opening mode as I type this and will be until the end of the month (offering a 25% discount on all menu items until then). I've not tried it yet, but from their Instagram, they seem to be burger-focused.
One of their burgers, it seems, is called a “50/50 Burger” consisting of a pretzel bun and a half-beef-half-sausage patty. They also have something called a Lamburgini with a spiced lamb burger with tzatziki heirloom tomatoes, red leaf lettuce, and cucumber. The Instagram feed also has more than a few sausage sandwiches, including an IPA sausage with charred jalapeño-onion-bacon jam, grainy bbq mustard aioli, and arugula.
And if any Ally Restaurant fans are listening, they're also making spaghetti. No, it's not the same spaghetti, but the pasta is reportedly hand-made and the guanciale in their “Spaghetti Chiatarra Con Guanciale” is almost bacon.
Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.