The food is different. I've only had Scandanavian in small glimpses, a hint here and there, or a whiff of inspiration. The Gravlax is their namesake, and it's easy to start with the most familiar. But this isn't really familiar. This the gravlax of gravlax. The salmon is superbly smooth, and it's hearty without being heavy, potent without being fishy, and raw without being overwhelming. We opted for the special, which places it over a bed of creamy potatoes and dill instead of toast. Best. Decision. EVER.
Gravlax goes over easy, but tread lightly around the Pickled Herring. This is one fish that can go very, very wrong. And when it's wrong, it's really, really wrong. A sigh of relief is breathed for the Gravlax iteration; this one is quite right, a visceral white with a palatable splash of brine.
The Ost & Et is a foreign name for meat and cheese, but I find nothing foreign about it. The Aged Gouda is GOOD, the Manchego is full of sheep, and the salami tastes like salami. Bresaola billows in thinly smoked sheets, and the duck prosciutto is half lavish lard, worth the extra charge. Solid stuff, no novelty here.
I have a few favorite fishes, and I'm a sucker for trout. The Smoked Rainbow Trout Spread is as smooth as the ice they probably fished it from, and it spreads on seamlessly, seafoamy and sweet. The house-cured red cabbage is a mouthful of my new favorite pickle.
The cafe still confuses me, but I cannot regret giving it a try. It is delightfully different, and when I opened this door, I opened a window of opportunity. My first taste of Scandinavian will not be my last, and considering Gravlax is LA's best...and LA's only, I will not be lax on my consumption of gravlax.