Locöl Barley & Vine in West Seattle is for the over 21-year-old set, where you can slow down and catch up with friends and neighbors or the book you've been meaning to read.

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Locöl Barley & Vine is a tiny slip of a place, but within its narrow walls, it has captured the gentle spirit of the West Seattle neighborhood it calls home.

Warm, welcoming and down to earth, Locöl offers the neighborhood a place to slow down and catch up with friends or the book you’ve been meaning to read.

Some nights, the conversation is so loud it could raise the roof. Other nights, it feels like a silo of sanity, a place to exhale and enjoy comforting food and unhurried service from a pleasant bartender who seems genuinely pleased you’ve dropped in.

The menu: Changes with the seasons but includes three perennial favorites: kale chips, seasoned with balsamic vinegar and lemon rind, and baked to a smoky crispness ($4); succulent pork tacos marinated with cinnamon, clove and orange ($9 for three); and slow-cooked horseradish pulled pork, served on a roll with grainy mustard, pickled onion and apple slaw with a side salad ($9).

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Seasonal “snacks” include Swedish meatballs in mushroom cream sauce ($5); watercress soup ($6); and vegetarian gumbo ($6). Salads and sandwiches round out the menu, and include the Bourbon Street salad, with spicy candied pecans and warm vinaigrette ($6); wild mushroom bruschetta sandwich with mozzarella and tomatoes ($8); bahn mi sandwich with five-spice tofu; and baked Mirliton, squash stuffed with andouille sausage, corn, peppers and onions, and served with delectable jalapeño cornbread ($10).

Dark chocolate sponge cake with almond frosting is all you need to remember for dessert. Some dishes can be prepared vegan or vegetarian on request.

What to write home about: The pork tacos, buttery jalapeño cornbread, kale chips and chocolate spongecake.

What to skip: If you like conversation with your food and drink, you might want to skip music nights or sit outside on the patio.

The setting: Like stepping into a well-stocked mountain cabin. Golden brown wood warms the space, which is gently lit by funky industrial lamps.

Summing up: Kale chips ($4), Bourbon Street salad ($6), pork tacos ($9) and stuffed squash ($10) came to $29. Cider and a beer pushed the tab to $48, with tip.

Susan Kelleher: 206-464-2508 or skelleher@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @susankelleher.

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