Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Curious Palate

The Curious Palate opened a few days ago in Mar Vista - a welcome reprieve from all the taquerias in the area. It is a cozy little cafe/gourmet shop/take-out deli with a small seasonal menu including sandwiches (I had a prosciutto panini),

salads, soups, sides and daily hot plate specials like these braised short ribs with Isreali couscous.

They also have a deli case of meats olives cheese, etc., making it a convienient stop for Mar Visians for some gourmet snacks (and they serve my fave coffee, Intelligentsia).

The Curious Palate
12034 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Mosto Enoteca

I had my second wonderful meal at Mosto Enoteca the other night. Located upstairs in a strip mall on Washington Blvd in Maria del Rey (next to the late Killer Shrimp), there is finally a good, non-chain restaurant worth going to in the Marina. 

They start you off with a selection of breads and homemade grissini (breadsticks) to nibble on, served with a vegetable puree that changes daily. The first night we had zucchini, potato and truffle, the second night pumpkin and bacon. Much more interesting then your typical olive oil or butter. 

On my first visit, I was with a group of ten and we shared everything family style. A selection of salumi, cheese and some crostini to start, then a few pastas (many of which are house-made), some fish, then a nice big veal chop, some side vegetables, followed by a couple desserts. On the second visit, we were more conservative - just a spinach pancetta and pine nut salad followed by strozzopretti and clams for me. Every single dish I have eaten here has been executed perfectly, with strong, clear flavors, appropriate servings, plated beautifully. Elegant yet simple. 

Just one complaint: the wine list prices are out of proportion to the food prices. You are hard pressed to find a bottle under $50. The food is very reasonably priced, and is actually quite a deal for the quality. It would be more appropriate (and we would certainly have ordered more wine) if they offered more bottles under $35.  Otherwise, Mosto is a cozy, comfortable yet sophisticated restaurant with excellent food I will happily return to. 

Here are some shots a friend took. Unfortunately, he didn't get a shot of the Fred Flintsone sized veal chop or the eequally beautiful double cut pork chop.

Mosto Enoteca
517 Washington Blvd.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292