Thursday, March 17, 2011
There was a night, several months back, when I went on a wild food chase through WeHo. It was late, and I had left XIV to meet a friend at Biergarten, only he had left and told me to meet at Bastide, but the kitchen was closed so we walked over to Comme Ca, where the kitchen was closed at well. We hopped across the street to Taste, where they were sweeping up the patio. Closed. We ended up at the Belmont that night, where they have the kitchen open late. 3 restaurant strike outs in the span of 15 minutes. Since then, it's been a goal to get back to each of the three places. Taste was first on the list since Mahon has since left Bastide to pursue other ventures.
Taste is a name that only pops up now and again on my radar. It's been quiet out of there recently, and maybe that's the point. While they have two locations; West Hollywood and the Pacific Palisades, it's less a point of interest restaurant then a neighborhood restaurant. Certainly, at the WeHo location, there are the trappings of fine dining, low(really, really low) lighting, white linens, etc. It's small and cozy, with a see and be seen patio. There's a fun cocktail list, and an ok wine list. There's little seating from what I could see, and where I was sitting, only four tables in a mildly cramped alcove. The menu isn't large by any means, and they have the standard weekly specials. A look at their website reveals rotating promotions such as:
-Happy Hour T-Su 4p-6p
-1/2 off Wine Mondays
-Bottomless mimosa Brunch on the weekends
-Daily lunch specials
-Full moon aphrodisiac tasting menus (not entirely sure what that's about)
With other promotions, same and different in the Palisades locale.
To get to the food, it will be sans photos. The lighting was too low for photos of any quality to be had, and so much the better because the dishes were pretty basic.
Thai Chicken Cups -Minced Chicken, Shallots, Crispy Rice, Peanuts,
Lemongrass Vinaigrette, Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro - meh. P.F. Changs did it first, and in my opinion better. This version used Romaine vs. iceberg, so it has an edge there. However, the cilantro, to me, was overpowering. In all fairness, I kind of border on hating cilantro. So that's just personal preference.
Crispy Rock Shrimp-Wasabi Aioli, Spicy Aioli, Thai Sweet& Sour Dipping Sauces - Tempura popcorn shrimp. Nothing fancy, and just as it sounds. The wasabi aioli won me here. I like a little kick.
Ravioli - it was the special, it had mushrooms, and a heavy cream sauce. I didn't finish it. It was good, but really really rich. I'm trying desperately to remember what was in it other than mushrooms, but I'm blanking, and as it was a special, it's not on the menu to help me out. You really can't go wrong with mushrooms in my book
Lastly, chocolate brioche bread pudding with Crème Anglaise and Vanilla Bean Gelato for dessert. I took this one to go as I wanted to share with Matt over at Scoops Westside. He and I agreed that this was a sugar bomb. It was unique in that it was bland, yet sugary. I couldn't manage more than 2 bites. Bummed? Yes, yes I was.
I have a friend who went there for Brunch and enjoyed herself on the patio. I think that as neighborhood restaurants go, it's good. The location and ambiance border on great. I, living in the wilds of the South Bay, won't be going out of my way to go back, but as I'm in the neighborhood frequently, I can see popping in for lunch on a weekend to check out what's going on there.
Palate - mildly amuse'd
8454 melrose avenue, west hollywood, ca 90069
Side note: all food and drink were hosted