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Excalibur restaurant jousts for downtown's ren-faire crowd

February 9, 2012 | 11:00 am

Have you ever been to Medieval Times in Buena Park and thought, "Wow, I really enjoy gnawing on this roast chicken thigh, but the weird, bearded actors in this jousting show are giving me the creeps"?

Me neither. But if you have, a restaurant has opened in downtown Los Angeles that you might really enjoy. It's called Excalibur Medieval Restaurant and it features the kind of Renaissance Faire vibe that you either participated in or cringed at when you were in high school and walked past your local public park on a sunny Saturday. The kind of knights-in-bad-velvet role playing featured to great comic effect in the fabulous Paul Rudd comedy "Role Models."

I must admit that I thought theme restaurants went out of style with the garlicky calcification of the Stinking Rose on La Cienega. But then when I was in Las Vegas over the weekend, I realized that a Heart Attack Grill had opened on Fremont Street downtown. I peered through the front windows with glazed bug eyes at the overweight people dressed in hospital gowns, and watched a lanky blond in a hot nurse's uniform paddle a man before he sat down to his 8,000-calorie quadruple-bypass burger.

Having stared into that lardy theme-restaurant abyss, it didn't much surprise me to read about Excalibur, which provides in-house costumes to its guests, who can then tuck into family-style meals of whole chickens with livers wrapped in bacon; sausages; ribs; roast pork and smoked pork leg.

Apparently the place is a spin-off of a restaurant first founded in Transylvania in 2006. Dracula must be rolling over in his coffin. I, however, am dusting off my goblet. OK, just kidding! But, it would be kind of funny to go, right? Or maybe just depressing.

Excalibur, 1248 S. Figueroa St., #101, Los Angeles; (213) 749-7751; www.excaliburrestaurant.com


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Photo: Danny (Paul Rudd), left, and Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) fight to the death with fellow medieval role players in "Role Models." Credit: Sam Urdank