A First-Person Review of a First-Rate Restaurant: Bow & Truss Debuts Today

The latest offering from Morgan Margolis is a hit.

Virtually everything in there was tasty. From the garlic-soaked olives brought in at the beginning before the menus were handed out to the specialized cocktails—each with its own personal history and names like Horse Thief Old Fashioned and Lankershim Fizz.

Friday night was a secret friends-and-family launch of the special restaurant with a Latin Cuisine. Yes, it’s true I’m like family to , the CEO who came up with the idea and concept, but I’m also brutally honest with him about his creations. (There are a few items no longer on the menu at The Federal after some input.)

Margolis is the owner and chief executive officer of the He came up with a family-style club and gastropub in North Hollywood with The Federal and it became an instant success. 

For something different, and for a younger, hipper crowd, he wanted to have a place that had an outdoor patio, some entertainment and a great tapas menu. He reconverted a car repair shop into a classy, exciting eatery.

The 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio will be open for those hot summer nights and has a bar. Late night dining will have a smaller menu.

The Executive Chef Stefhanie Meyers decides how to fold out the items that people order so that they taste better. As one of the waitresses explained, Stefhanie may reorganize the menu so that it will taste the best.

Each of the cocktails come with their own story and history. For example, the Pio Pio Crusta is named for Don Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of Alta California province. He controlled a large portion of the Valley before selling his half-interest to Isaac Lankershim. The drink is a mix of cucumber, Palo Cortado Sherry, Maraschino and Lemon.

Everything is made to share, and expected to be shared. You can choose a cheese platter with three or five elegant cheeses, or Lobster Ceviche, a Roasted Beet Salad, or Smelt Fries which are delicious pieces of fish coated with cornmeal and fried.

Especially when sharing, the prices are extremely reasonable. A large-sized Shelled Paella is $21 and the elegantly smoky-flavored Seafood Pot is $24.

The menus were only printed up on Monday, that’s how fine-tuned they’re making the menu. We tried the Pulled Pork Belly, which also made great savory tacos.

If there was even anything remotely obvious to criticize, I would say that there wasn't enough of their good bread to sop up some of the soup or the paella with—we had to order extra. The meals are great for finicky eaters, kids and even vegetarians. (We had at least one of each in our group, and they loved the food.)

And, I'm not convinced the name says what it really is, but that's a minor point. Word will get around what Bow & Truss is all about.

The wait-staff are all charming and delightfully knowledgeable and accommodating. The doors are opening Saturday at 5:30 p.m. At this point, there’s no need for a reservation, but I’m willing to bet that as soon as word gets out, reservations will be required.

Bow & Truss is at 11122 Magnolia Blvd.

(See some of the menu items here.)

Tristen Ngo July 07, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Woohoo! Finally. Another great addition to the NoHo area. Hopefully Morgan realizes the potential of Burbank Blvd and opens his next location there, right next to Lonny Chapman Theater.
David Rivers July 08, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Couldn't agree more. That stretch of Burbank blvd in NoHo has quite a bit of character. I think I saw a funky castle with turrets on that stretch. Plus that theater doesn't have a place to eat nearby that's convenient. I've gone to that theater on multiple occasions and have had to drive to Lankershim to eat. I'd much prefer to walk to a nearby eatery.
Morgan Margolis July 08, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I have friends about to build on Burbank, these guys know what they're doing so hopefully it will help with the continued revitalization of this entire area. Once we can breathe again after Bow & Truss, I guarantee we'll take look over there as well. My only negative, it's still a battle trying to do business in this city!! Lastly, thanks for all of your support, without the community behind us none of this would happen.
Jean Jeunet July 08, 2012 at 05:55 PM
So excited to try out the new cafe. 2000 square feet of outdoor eating?? Awesome. Kinda wish it viewable from the street for pedestrians walking by. Anyway, I definitely agree with Tristen and David above. The stretch of Burbank blvd between Cahuenga and Lankershim have lots of potential and the spaces are a lot cheaper along this stretch....for now.
LABornAndRaised July 08, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Very cool. What are your friends going to build on Burbank Blvd? Eager minds want to know =o). The interesting thing, is the bulidings with the most old world charm and character seem to be sitting empty. Different ones that come to mind are the Art Deco building, the quirky place with the turrets, and a large place with glass blocks in the front.
Laura July 08, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I'm glad to read all of this, and of course anxious to try B&T. I've been a fan of The Federal since it opened. And yes, there are a lot of great buildings on Burbank, that whole stretch seems to be untapped potential. I just moved into the 'hood a little more than a year ago, and I look forward to watching it continue to grow.
Miki Henderson July 09, 2012 at 02:41 AM
I can't wait to try it! It sounds more upscale than Federal Bar, but still not a budget-buster!
J. Ryan July 10, 2012 at 12:46 AM
"Awesome. Kinda wish it viewable from the street for pedestrians walking by." Exactly what I thought. The urban design perspective is probably the one area that you'd find a negative critique of this place: it adds nothing to the street-scape. Oh well, at least the food's good.
LABornAndRaised December 05, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I just drove by 10844 Burbank Blvd this morning and noticed the castle-style eccentric building is for SALE. That would be an awesome space for a restaurant. Love the quirky turret on the corner.
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