On downtown's Second Street, between Hill and Broadway, the Redwood Bar & Grill has stood for years as something of a canteen for the Los Angeles Times. With a recent renovation, promised as a "pirate theme," the Redwood seemed poised to enter the age of whimsy--a tragedy for a joint in which many fictional detectives (Harry Bosch?) have bent an elbow.
Such is not the case. The Redwood has dark paneling, ship's wheel chandeliers, barrel-shaped tables, furled sails hanging from the dropped ceiling, and a certain amount of decorative brass (the metal, not the cops). But there's no silly pirate gear about, and the booths are covered in canvas, too.
There's no drink menu, other than a table sign offering a few rum drinks, which made it difficult for L to find a white wine she liked (it took two tries). I went with the Craftsman 1903 Lager on tap, made in Pasadena; liked it, but would've liked to choose from a list (it was the first one the waitress mentioned--guess I'm just that easy). We looked at the bar menu; there are separate lunch and dinner menus, for which you can check the website. Our wings, deep-fried (mmmm!) and soaked in barbecue sauce, with a fresh-tasting ranch dressing for dipping, were above average. We saw quite a few burgers go out to the tables. Each had a steak knife driven through its middle like a stake in the heart of a vampire (not the pirate theme. maybe too much time spent thinking about Glenn Danzig). Next time, the burger.
Verdict: I'll go back, in fact, I'm planning to move in. If they have wireless, I'll be set.