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Besha Rodell Says Post & Beam is Playing it Safe

New LA Weekly Restaurant Critic Besha Rodell shares her first formal review, the eatery of choice, Post & Beam. Conceptually, she has trouble classifying the restaurant, and although veggie dishes shine, many others dull in comparison:

It's a restaurant that's a little hard to define: part neighborhood bistro, part modern soul restaurant, part pizzeria. It's not pub enough to be a gastropub and not Southern enough to be wholly defined by that cuisine, either — even as Italy has its influence on the food in the pizzas and in many of the appetizers. The restaurant is a mishmash, a combination of the passions and backgrounds of Armstrong and owner Brad Johnson. But mostly it is a purveyor of comfort and the feel-good ethos of local eating.
The best dishes at Post & Beam combine pristine ingredients and a formidable chef's sensibilities with something that tastes like home. The ones that fail seem like they're victim to concept before flavor, or as if the chef were holding back on food that, if ramped up, could wow even the wary...But while much of what's on offer is perfectly respectable, it's hardly inspired.
While "the veggies are where it's at ... The pizza portion of the menu is less successful." She continues, "I'd love to see this menu veer off the standard pork-chicken-salmon-beef format ... I get that comfort is the name of the game here, but comfort doesn't always have to equal safe." [LAW]