Smoke.Oil.Salt. West Hollywood
Third generation Spanish paella maker Perfecto Rocher has joined forces with Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman and AdVantage Partners to bring true tapa and other regional delicacies to Melrose diners. You might miss the entrance surrounded by tattoo parlor signs but once inside you will probably recognize the old Angeli space split into two rooms with a bar and open air kitchen. Start with a glass of Cava then move on to Albarino or Tempranillo wine. You’ll want to order bravas trencades with fried potatoes, Serrano ham, chorizo and fried egg or pluma Iberica which is wood-fired filet of pork with smoked green onions and Xato sauce. Paella family style dinner will be available on Sunday evenings only but we’re hoping this can be part of the regular menu. Hot tip: there has been a few mentions of the heavy kitchen smoke but if you sit by the front near the large open windows, it should not be an issue and it’s very mild compared to a K-town BBQ place in our opinion.
Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar
It’s always been a culinary crime that we have not had more good beachside restaurants in LA, let alone one on the famous Malibu Pier where Alice’s restaurant once stood. The owners of the pier felt the same and on the heels of quant and delicious Malibu Farm casual dining on the far end of the planks, Malibu Pier is the finer dining sister with Chef Jason Fulilove at the helm. The seafood heavy menu includes California white sea bass carpaccio with Meyer lemon relish; tuna crudo with crushed olives, Ojai Pixie orange, pistachio, bergamot and seagrass. The California striped bass has the perfect crispy skin and Malibu seafood stew will keep you warm through winter with mussels, clams, wild octopus and saffron pasta pearls. We found that most dishes paired well with a Syrah rose or Viognier from local favorite Casa Dumetz Wines. You can also have a pre or post dinner cocktail in the adjacent bar.
Faith & Flower, Downtown LA
The folks who bring the Food & Wine festival to Pebble Beach and DTLA have opened a permanent eatery at 9th and Flower that is pure glam. Long yellow banquettes are sexy with low lighting setting a romantic tone. The menus are small leather bound books, so if your date is starting to bore you beyond the first course, read some food trivia to pass the time while you nibble on oxtail angelotti with bone marrow butter, sprinkled with shreds of chicharonnes and a tangerine salsa that cuts through the richness perfectly. Move on to mesquite grilled bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, seared branzino, or one of the best pizzas in town from eggs benedict to roasted mushroom. Either way, the food and craft cocktails list will keep you on your toes – even if your date won’t.
Superba Food & Bread, Venice
Paul Hibler is a national treasure in Venice and Culver City at this point after opening Superba on Rose, East Borough on Washington and a few Westside Pitfire pizza outposts. Superba F&B is the casual bakery cousin where you will want to pull up a chair on the patio or barstool and eat as many freshly baked goods as possible with copious amounts of wine. Open for three meals a day, they are also offering fried chicken on Sunday nights. Whenever you go, try the black rice salad with rotisserie pineapple, Thai basil and cashew. Along with an order of bread and house made cultured butter, this could be a filling meal for non-meat eaters.
Zinque, West Hollywood
We are loving the new Pacific Design center adjacent location of the Venice staple Zinque wine bar and café. Designed by Milos Garcia (57, Hinoki and The Bird), the patio is the perfect perch for a long lunch or dinner by the fireplace with rosé and the best quiche Lorraine this side of France. Poilane crusty bread is imported from Paris with salted butter but save room for ham gruyere panini, thin mushroom flatbreads and open faced hard boiled egg and smoked salmon tartines topped with crumbled potato chips. For dessert you’ll be torn over the cheese plate or chocolate – just order both. Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 6:30pm featuring mini quiche bites, pate, Sicilian olives and Spanish almonds.