A while back, we dined with some friends at a spot on MacArthur Boulevard called Cranberry’s Restaurant. As you can see from our review, posted here, we were kind of surprised by the casual atmosphere and service, and thought we would be less confused if we wore jeans and hoodies and sat at the bar, then called The Bog Pub.
So, here we are, wearing sweatshirts and Levis, and we’re still a little confused.
The bar is still called The Bog Pub, but apparently so is the restaurant. Nowadays, the whole place offers six entrees and a special, and the rest of the menu consists of interesting sandwiches, soups and salads, and a section called “small plates.” The price and complexity of these items makes them sound like tapas, but our server read us two specials and called them “appetizers.” Turns out that the “small plates” are quite large, but the portions on them are very small. That’s not to say you’ll stop at Burger King on your way home, but you definitely won’t go waddling out with a doggie bag, either. We hate to sound school-marmish about the language, but after a while, the occasional imprecise slip-up becomes a consistent theme.
Okay, rant concluded. Now for the review: Get what we got, and you’ll be pretty happy with The Bog Pub, or whatever it’s called. A tapas approach, with two small plates apiece, would be a filling meal of high quality and an excellent value by any measure.
The relatively diverse wine list included something we never see in these parts: wine on tap, which bartender Courtney said keeps the wine fresher. Gina chose a Pacific Cabernet ($8), and not only was it darned good, but it was the least expensive offering. The Big Dog got a Lehman Shiraz ($9). We liked our selections enough that we didn’t wish we’d tried flights, three 3-ounce pours available for $12.
After a long day, we only had the energy to share two small plates.
Gina’s pick was the pan seared duck livers ($9, shown in the terrible photo above). It was served on a bed of creamy polenta with a moat of “smoked gravy.” “Tastes smoky!” observed the Big Dog. The livers were crisp and flavorful, the polenta rich, and the tangle of microgreens intriguing. It was one of the most delicious dishes we’ve gotten in recent months.
The Big Dog selected cod croquettes. In retrospect, we were both probably expecting something like codfish cakes, leaden and squishy. Instead, we got a plate of fishy little poufs, crisp on the outside and moist on the inside, and yummy with the remoulade dipping sauce.