Studio City: Slow Mondays at Ombra
Ombra opened in September this year in Studio City. Chef Michael Young has cooked at many of LA’s great Italian restaurants including Il Grano, Valentino, Drago, Piccolo and most recently Domenico. Ombra comes from an Italian phrase, “andemo bever un ombra” which means taking some shade. In Venice, gondolieri take shade with a glass of wine.
Ombra serves a 3-course dinner on Mondays entitled “Slow Mondays.” It’s a great deal at only $35 a person and even better when you order a $12 carafe of wine. If you want to bring in your own wine, corkage is a measly $8.
I was invited to try the three-course Slow Mondays dinner a couple of weeks back. We had a couple of appetizers before our meals came. I love that Ombra’s arancini are conical in shape. We also had an eggplant caponata served with bread to start.
On this night, we enjoyed a smooth white wine which was the perfect complement to our veggie friendly meal.
Served over chard, the poached egg gently released its yolk, comingling with the vegetal and the truffle flavors and bringing a smile to my dining companions’ faces. What a lovely way to warm up on this chilly night.
Next we had the potato ravioli which Chef Michael made that day. He’s been working with mushrooms this month and challenging himself to use them. I am so used to potato gnocchi or ravioli stuffed with squash that it was really different and cool to have potato ravioli. The creaminess worked very well with the meaty mushrooms.
We had a debate about gorgonzola and bleu cheese. I actually don’t like stinky cheeses but am perfectly happy with gorgonzola. The others around the table agreed though we couldn’t quite agree why. I think it’s just less stinky. Ha! Who knew though gorgonzola would go so well with persimmon and drizzled with a fine saba, it made a wonderfully simple dessert.
We were at the end of our three courses but the chef’s spidey senses must have been tingling. We heard about the fabulous chocolate salami but it wasn’t on the menu this night. As it turned out we got a little surprise dish of it at the end. Hurrah! The cream is the cream usually stuffed into canolis and the chocolate had big chunks of pistachios which I really liked. And vegetarians, it’s not really “salami” like meat but rather it’s shaped and sliced like such.
I’m glad I found out about Ombra because it’s relatively close to some friends and I am happy to suggest this restaurant on our next adventure.