Mud Hen Lays An Egg…

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My stomach can rise to the occasion after a big meal…not my feet and hands.

I departed Mud Hen Tavern and felt as bloated as when I was pregnant.

Way more than a pinch of salt appeared to be tossed into every item we selected on the Mud Hen menu.

I had heard and read many good things about the Susan Feniger (Border Grill) restaurant, but I found it mediocre, at best.

The place was buzzing with repeat customers. The Mud Hen Tavern purportedly has become quite the neighborhood hangout since it was converted over one year ago from Feniger’s last restaurant, Street.

Mud Hen Tavern offers seasonal, gourmet pub and comfort food in a mellow setting.

We strolled in after noon to a half empty restaurant, but spent 20 minutes waiting while the host frantically plotted his next move.

We later found out that reservations were his priority so we just needed to stand and wait like good, completely uninformed soldiers. Curiously, those with reservations were either invisible or nonexistent.

Mud Hen Tavern Bar
Mud Hen Tavern Bar

Why not tell us up front that we did not matter? We would have had no problem plopping down at the bar and toasting our irrelevance.

When we finally negotiated the huge maneuver, our server was lovely and sitting on the patio was pleasant.

Classic Bloody Mary
Classic Bloody Mary

I started with a classic Bloody Mary ($12) just because I could. It was actually delicious and just the right amount of spice. We included the spicy deviled eggs with green chile salsa in our initial order ($2). Very ordinary and the yolk was loose and runny.

Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs

We were told the stuffed hash browns with sharp cheddar and sautéed spinach were a must ($12).

Stuffed Hash Browns
Stuffed Hash Browns

They arrived looking tantalizing, but once you dug in there wasn’t much substance other than salt. Roasted tomatoes were presented on the side and served ice cold…really?

Avocado Toast
Avocado Toast

I ordered fresh pea and avocado mash toast with spring radish ($5). The toast was cold and the avocado mixture I make at home is much more flavorful and tangy.

Burger
Burger

The hangover burger looked appealing, but just had too much going on ($15). As with picking out an outfit, check in the mirror and always eliminate one accessory. There was bacon, cheese, tomato and a huge fried egg…the flavors were lost.

The fried potatoes that accompanied the burger were visually appealing, but were incredibly salty.

Salmon Chopped Salad
Salmon Chopped Salad

We also ordered the chopped salad with salmon. The fish was fishy. The veggies were crunchy and crisp, but no outstanding flavor came through. The dressing added nothing but calories and we left half.

Had we muddied the waters with our selections? It seemed as if the entire restaurant had chosen the chicken and waffles croquettes with bacon and spicy maple syrup ($10).  We passed because we were unable to rationalize that particular selection.

Do not despair…there was free street parking, but, alas, there was no saving this salty dog.

Mud Hen laid an egg.

Back to the salt mines to find another restaurant to review.

Mud Hen Tavern 742 North Highland (between Waring and Melrose Avenue), Los Angeles, California. Sunday-Thursday 5pm-Midnight. Friday and Saturday 5pm-1am. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm. Happy Hour Monday-Friday 5-7pm.

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