Hours: Breakfast, lunch, dinner: Sunday-Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday
Open late: Friday & Saturday 24 hours; Sunday-Tuesday, Thursday till 11
"We're in for a treat" ran through my head as I settled into Izola's. The table-hopping crowd was convivial and smiling, and our neighbors immediately engaged us in conversation--"Don't miss the fried chicken"--as bright-eyed octogenarian proprietor Izola White worked the room. Chicken soup foreshadowed good things to come, rich broth with chicken, celery, and thick, chewy house-made dumplings, which reappeared in the stewed chicken, tender dark meat with peppery gravy. Fried chicken had a crisp, aggressively seasoned crust encasing juicy flesh with a hint of salt. Short ribs were tender, with a zesty sauce, and salmon patties and eggs are a delicious if implausible-sounding combination--a dining companion declared them "better than some crab cakes I've paid 15 bucks for." Sides were uneven: spaghetti was overcooked and coleslaw was doused with mayo, but greens with hot-pepper-infused vinegar were terrific, and sweet potatoes were just the right side of sweet. There are two different seating areas, one a comfortable dining room, the other a more casual lunch counter for those in a hurry--though with the many charms of Izola's I don't see why one would want to rush.