We were a little late for our reservation due to typically brutal traffic on Santa Monica Blvd, but they were really nice about it when I called and we were seated right away. The restaurant was about 3/4 full when we got there at 7, although completely full by the time we left. The space is nice, clearly very masculine with dark paint, but relatively open feeling with high ceilings, a sushi bar and bar on the right as you enter, and a open window into the kitchen, much like at Test Kitchen, where you can see the chefs, including Michael Voltaggio and Cole Dickinson, constantly hard at work. The restaurant doesn't feel formal, stuffy or intimidating at all; definitely more on the casual side. Service was great, very friendly, helpful and prompt. Pretty much each course was served one at a time.
Barcelona and Madrid earlier this year. But it was definitely tasty and an overall good experience. His food is flavorful and comforting and not overly precious or refined. It's quite approachable, which is also the vibe of the restaurant. I think he changes the menu quite often, as the opening night menu (via kevineats) only had a little overlap with our menu, so I would definitely like to return to see what else he comes up with. The wine list was short but well edited with good by the glass selections that matched up to the food, and the cocktails were excellent.
|Dungeness crab / smoked mayo, bok choy kimchi|
|Spaghetti / giant squid, squash, hazelnut-ink pesto, piment d'espelette|
|Bay scallops / lamb neck and chickpea poutine, yogurt curds|
|Kale / burrata, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin preserves, yuzu|
|Seaweed mashed potatoes / sea grass, sea beans|
|Quail / banana polenta (not pictured, served in a separate bowl), beet juice, sorrel salad|
|Berkshire pork tenderloin / charcoal crust, macaroni and cheese, leeks|
|Veal cheek / red curry, nante carrots baked in salt, fried sticky rice|
|Apple / creme caramel, burnt wood sabayon, walnut|
|Tequila / serrano, lime, grapefruit, soda|
We also bought the Voltaggio brother's cookbook, which the chef was nice enough to sign for us.
8360 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90069