Sometimes Lark Lane is a bit of an idiot. It gets a bit rowdy, a bit carried away with itself and a tad overtired. Maybe it shows off a bit too.
On days or, more likely, nights like this the Lane can be a rather wearying place; noisy and tiresome when you just wanted something pleasant and relaxed.
It was on such a night that SevenStreets sought solace in a quiet meal on the Lane; for the Lane has many places that serve sustenance and succour for the, er, sorrowful (we were on a roll with the alliteration there, alright?).
We poked our heads into a new restaurant near Elif and, though we may have had a bitch about the explosion of such places on Lark Lane, it looked promising. Perhaps another time, when we can give it our undivided attention.
We walked towards Esteban, but a latin music outfit was limbering up. SevenStreets has nothing against latin music outfits but we were after a bit of peace and quiet and some simple, tasty food. We knew just the place.
The Moon and Pea seems the be the destination for breakfasts on all days of the week, nevermind Sundays when there are pitched battles to get a seat; women using buggies as weapons and hefty copies of the Sunday Times to beat one another into submission over a slice of black pudding.
However, we’ve never eaten there in the evening, when it’s not quite so packed. We were able to find a table for two on a Thursday night, having picked up a bottle of rioja on the way (sardonic) as the Moon and Pea isn’t licensed.
We skipped starters proper in favour of a mountain of home-made hummus – a food-stuff SevenStreets typically regards with suspicion – and half a ciabatta. Garlicky, lemony and with a smooth consistency; it was a pleasant surprise and a light way to start the meal.
There are burgers aplenty at night-time, and loads of salads, lots of meat and fish and a few veggie stand-bys. This is not a pretentious menu, but knowing the produce is good and the emphasis is on flavour, that doesn’t really matter.
A greek salad and a chicken caesar salad duly arrived with thick chips you could cosh someone with. SevenStreets’ salad had anchovies. They were both nice and brought to our table by a man so cheerful you could have smeared the chick-pea dip in his face and shoved anchovy fillets up his nose and he’d still have thanked you.
The food was tasty. Two mains, a side and a starter plus corkage were £25. The service was friendly. We were sated.
The Moon and Pea is a restaurant that isn’t even trying, but in a good way. It’s naturally chilled out; it’s effortlessly good at what it does – it’s just like that.
It’s Lark Lane on a good day.