The motto emblazoned across The Post’s refurbished entrance reads: “Comfort Food You Can Feel Good About.” Victoria Breslin can feel good about her redesign of the former First & Main Sports Lounge; the former employee took over the lease when that venerable venue closed in early 2017.

The construction crew she hired gutted the place, a holdout from the grungy 20th century, and made the redesign worthy of an HGTV curtain reveal. In its new incarnation, Breslin has accomplished a total aesthetic and philosophical departure from its past as a locals-only dive bar.

What surfaced from the dust and rubble is an attempt to update the concept of a sports bar by opening up the interior to the community at large, with welcoming white-tiled walls, large panes of glass and natural light streaming in from the windows. The new name is a nod to the history of the Copeland Building it’s housed in. Built in 1911, the Copeland is one of the oldest structures in Los Altos and was once home to the post office. Breslin found old photographs of the building in the Los Altos History Museum and has hung a few framed copies of those bygone days. But the modern decorative touches—like one giant canvas that’s been partially painted with a halting and demented Christmas-green brushstroke—effectively swallow up those visual references to the past.

On the outside, The Post appears to be less interested in looking backward, but the menu doesn’t exactly position itself as a culinary vanguard of the future. The ingredients are locally sourced and organic whenever possible. And the chef has refined the concept of bar food, a type of cuisine that can be elevated without changing its primary function: to aid the consumption of alcohol. However, the results are mixed when it comes to the creation of dishes that move beyond fulfilling that essential requirement.

Dueling shishito peppers ($10) are either blistered or deep-fried in a tempura batter. Both versions were addictive despite the omission of a massive lemon wedge and the taste of salt. The blistered shishitos at Olla Cocina in San Jose, though, are still the ones to beat. The Post’s mushroom tacos ($16), which can come with chicken instead, are very good, if not better than the ones served by most taco trucks. The green side salad was underdressed; for $16, diners deserve a third taco instead of an out-of-place, lackluster bed of greens.

Having already tried an Impossible Burger elsewhere, a decision was made in favor of the Chicken Parmesan Meatball Sub ($16). Bland and frankly subpar, every ingredient in the sandwich was flavorless. Four unseasoned meatballs were disproportionately small on an enormous boat of a French roll. They looked like they’d been stranded on a beach of messy tomato sauce (possibly canned?) and trapped in a sticky puddle of provolone. It’s the kind of dish that needs love and attention paid to every detail for its ingredients to marry well. Tasteless tater tots accompanied the sub. They were unconvincing as actual potatoes, and more convincing as having been recently thawed from a freezer bag.

Ideally, a Cobb Salad ($17) should be grand and unctuous in order to fool you into thinking that you’re not having a salad. Give us blue cheese dressing for tang (not just in crumbles) and mix up the staid ingredients with radishes, celery or cucumber. Add croutons for texture. But The Post’s version isn’t adventurous and doesn’t make it new. It was dry and dutiful, an unfortunate attempt to offer something dietary.

That diet can easily be upended by the gelato (one scoop at $5, two for $7 or three for $9) or the Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich ($9). The portions were more than generous, but did they match the splendor of the gelato just down the street at Morsey’s Farmhouse? Not by two shakes of a water buffalo’s tail.

The Post
395 Main St., Los Altos