Life has a way of bringing people and places back into your life, and Flores is bringing people back to the former Sawtelle Kitchen space. It has also brought back the owner to the building that used to show his father's art. Everything in this place has evolved, from the clean design to the fresh flavors on the menu. It's still a casual neighborhood place, but that is about the only thing that has remained from its former incarnation.
I came for lunch and was impressed with the airy patio spaces, the larger outdoor space has a warming fire pit for cooler evenings. They've only been open for about a month, but there were already "regulars", an excellent sign for a new place.
I had the beef brisket sandwich which came with a side salad for $14. The beef was tender and moist with nice earthy flavor, but the meat was not heated through and the cold fat (which you can see in the picture) detracted from this otherwise great sandwich. I ended up taking out the slices of meat and cutting away all the fat before putting the sandwich back together to eat. I told my waitress that the temperature was a bit off and she relayed the information to the chef, Rob, who came out later with a complimentary dessert and an apology. He explained that it was the first day they were serving this sandwich so the staff had not gotten it perfect yet. This kind of honesty and service only made me want to go back (which I did later in the week).
The side salad added a nice light counterpoint to the rich meat and I was glad there was a knife since the leaves were left intact.
We shared everything, so we started with the kanpachi ceviche young thai cocunut, lime and grapefruit for $14. The neighboring table said that she could have eaten three orders of this, and we agreed that this could have been a meal with a bigger portion. The flesh of the fish was so firm and fresh that the citrus flavors that ringed the bowl were all that was needed to bring out the best of the fish.