West LA: Dinner and Sangria at Tapenade
Tapanade located at the Olympic Collection shopping center in West Los Angeles opened earlier this year. Hidden in the corner and behind some lush foliage, the dining room is dominated by a large bar. The bar looks like it’s become a neighborhood hangout which is quite understandable as this stretch of Sawtelle and Olympic needs more bars.
Looking over the menu, my friend and I decided to try the more of the smaller plates rather than entrees. We also got a large mason jar of sangria. It was just perfect for the night and complemented the meal very well.
Chef Resul Rassallat has an impressive background and has worked at many fine dining establishments around the world including Paris, Pebble Beach and locally at the famed L’Orangerie. It’s nice to see he opened this cute little spot that gives variety to the neighborhood.
We had to order something with tapenade since the name of the restaurant is Tapenade. We figured it’ll be the best tapenade if it’s in the name. We got the goat cheese but they also have bleu cheese. I liked the milder goat cheese with the tapenade and basil. It was very Mediterranean.
On the table was a jar of salt infused with red wine. I sprinkled just a tiny bit on my half of the quail egg from the chicken liver mousse. It made great presentation with the deep red salt against the pure egg white.
I like chicken liver quite a bit and it’s always a good measure of a restaurant’s offal prowess. You want to have that funk but not too funky. Tapenade pulled off that fine balance.
Anytime I see mushrooms, I have to get them. This warm mushroom salad was great with extremely fresh endive.
When we ordered the shrimp, we had no idea it was actually a salad. Sure, it was under the vegetables section but it was a nice surprise. The shrimp were cut into bite-sized pieces and topped the slightly Asian flavored salad. The flavors were more pronounced in the seaweed tossed with the mixed greens.
It was very interesting to read the menu and see the international flavors applied to something like Brussel sprouts. Chef Resul has a whole section devoted to the sprouts. We had to try some of course and chose the Thai style. I thought the spicy rice wine would be a nice balance to the crispy leaves.
We ended with the lamb fettucine. The strands of fettucine had a nice bite and I like this kind of tomato sauce where it’s still tangy-sweet from fresh tomatoes.
We were going to skip dessert since we were so full but Chef Resul was kind enough to send out two desserts. The chocolate panna cotta with coffee Chantilly cream is my kind of dessert. But so is fruity type desserts. For a non-sweets girl, I sure do like my chocolate.
We got a very special berries in red wine sauce dessert. Chef likes to make this for VIPs or perhaps he was just teasing us. I had already noticed how great the berries were but in this dish, they were amazing with deep flavors. I enjoyed this dish as is but wondered if I could get this as a topping for my morning yogurt. Doesn’t everyone want wine-sauced berries for breakfast?
11301 W.Olympic Blvd #116
Los Angles, CA 90064 — 310 312 6233
© The Minty 2013