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Los Angeles Area

Sopra Review - Longish


Restaurants & Bars

Sopra Review - Longish

caveatempty | Jan 7, 2006 01:18 PM

A group of four of us went last night to Sopra. As noted by other posters, beautiful space, nice heated balcony seating, very inviting (which was shockingly empty for Friday night at 8:00). We were greeted by the gracious owner, Oliver, who sat us outside. We had brought a bottle of wine ($15 corkage fee) and it was quickly opened for us. We later ordered a bottle of a 2001 Damilano Barolo, which we thought was very reasonably priced at $65 for a velvety, full-bodied wine with such a beautiful finish.

We ordered the following, sharing them all:

Insalata di Burrata (burrata cheese with truffle dressing and arugula salad): Light, very fresh burrata complemented by the smoky, peppery arugula and fragrant dressing.

Nine Oysters (hama hama, blue point and quilchene oysters): Not my favorite as the quality of oysters weren't that high or fresh but the mignonette (made with Pernod) was really good, if that accounts for anything.

Spuntino di Acciughe (white Spanish anchovies with olive oil lemon juice and potatoes): Fairly good, the saltiness of the good-sized anchovies tempered by the dressing, but not my favorite thing on the menu.

Porcini Ravioli (ravioli, porcini and basil): Sadly disappointed by the dish. The pasta was a little gummy, not as delicate as I normally like my ravioli wrapping. And, surprisingly, somewhat bland (not subtle, but bland), save for the filling.

Sauteed Foie Gras (foie gras, white grapes and onion marmalade): An amazing combination of flavors. And the foie gras was cooked perfectly. And the ooey-gooey onion marmalade, burnished and redolent, was perfect. So good we immediately ordered another one.

Anatra con Funghi (duck breast, porcini sauce, poached romana): One of the high points. Duck was meaty, tender but still with a nice bite to it. The accompanying poached Romaine lettuce added a nice crunch. Plus, the wine and mushroom sauce was so good, we couldn't help but sop it up with our bread.

Bistecchina (sliced marinated hanger steak, arugula, roasted tomato): Perfectly-cooked, deliciously savory and tender beef of high quality, nicely sauced but not overly so.

Escolar (escolar, sautéed lentils with vegetables): Fairly large filet cut of firm, fatty escolar with a gorgeous sauce but it was the buttery lentils that put the dish over the top. The fish on its own was good but not awe-inspring (a little too firm, almost chewy, in texture) but when paired with the lentils, it became transcendent.

We finished off the meal with a cheese plate composed of Gorgonzola, pecorino, Brie served with honey, dried figs and berries. The Gorgonzola was creamy pungent goodness and absolutely divine when dipped into honey. The pecorino was sharp, nutty and delectable. The Brie was buttery and subtle in flavor, unfortunately, it was insufficiently soft and runny. They should have allowed to come to room temperature before serving to us.

We also ordered port, espresso, cappuccino and a decaf. Can't speak for the others, but my cappuccino was excellent with just the perfect amount of foam.

Altogether, it came to about $300 after tax and tip, a very reasonable price for the amount of food we ate. Oliver was very friendly and accommodating, happy to discuss wine with us. Once the restaurant started to fill up, our waitress became somewhat overwhelmed and harried, but she was very sweet and apologetic. The busboys were, at times, overly attentive--sometimes whisking away plates before we could sponge off the last vestige of sauce with bread but that was just us being greedy. We left the restaurant utterly sated/satiated/satisfied (and happy to see that the restaurant was full by the time we left). We'll be going back to try the other dishes.

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