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Restaurants & Bars 11

The Finals Splurge: Violet in Santa Monica!

Dommy! | Dec 8, 200502:35 PM

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had my first final in SIX years on Monday… it wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be… but it still was something I thought was in need of celebration… SO… A couple of great gals and I decided to eat and drink it up at Violet!!

Located in Santa Monica on Pico not too far from Centinella and right across from the Trader Joes, it’s a pretty smalls store front. However, the inside was wonderful. Very cozy and tables well arranged, but not crowded. I arrived a little early for our 7pm reservation, and it was empty. However, by the time we were eating a bit past 8pm… the place was JUMPING.

I had always wanted to visit Violet since I’ve read posting on here for their awesome Macaroni and Cheese, one of my favorite things on this planet… LOL! But along the way, we also ordered.

The bread was a long flat loaf of super fresh and WARM crusty white bread. The butter came in a little dish that look like a tea light holder and was SOFT (YAY!! NO rock hard butter for my bread!) I loved it… And based on the quality of the bread, I knew I was in for a TREAT!!

To drink I had unibroue "trois pistols" chambly, quebec, a DARK, rich but smooth Canadian Brew. I loved it… I’m not a wine person at all… I’m a beer girl and I LOVE that more fine restaurants are including craft brews on their menu…

bresaola apple salad, walnut vinaigrette $9 -- Bresaola is a kinda beef procuitto and the plating was lovely… with plenty of yummy apple salad, but it had very little flavor… I ended up using it as a sorta taco shell for the awesome salad…

baked macaroni, serrano ham, leeks, gruyere cheese $7.50 – This came out HOT and BUBBLING (Something that would be a theme… watch the plates at Violet, they are HOT!!) and a good size portion too… It was indeed wonderful. On top was that wonderful cheese crust and the Serrano Ham did not over power nor was too salty or tough (As what often happens with procuitto when cooked). The pasta cooked to just past snappy al dente and the cheese sauce wonderfully smooth and rich. Still though, I’d be pretty hard pressed to say this was the BEST. It was just different with the Gruyere than the standard cheddar based great Mac N Cheese I’ve had at places like Luna Park. Nevertheless, if you like Mac N Cheese and find yourself at Violet… Order this!!!

belgian endive and watercress roquefort, candied pecans $9.50: Wonderful but surprisingly simple salad. I thought the flavor of the roquefort would be stronger. I’m kinda glad it wasn’t, but still, the whole thing ended up just being a simple small salad.

grilled caesar curried croutons, white anchovies $8.: Now this Salad… THIS one is the one to get… A small whole heart of romaine, seasoned and grilled, with strips of beautiful white anchovies carefully draped over the heart. The croutons and dressing served on opposite corners of the plate… One of the BEST Caesar salads I’ve ever had…

sauteed spinach golden raisin, pine nuts $5.50: I ordered this… I love spinach, I love pine nuts!! This dish pretty much tasted as you’d expect… You could make it at home really easy too… but still, I enjoyed it completely! :)

seared scallops vanilla risotto, carmelized fall squash $16.: We just HAD to order this because vanilla risotto just sounded way interesting!! Sadly, when the dish arrived, the Scallops were plentiful, but there was just a smear of the risotto! I tasted no vanilla flavor, but a friend detected TOO much. The scallops however were done wonderfully as was the butter nut squash crowning the whole dish….

organic scottish salmon rock shrimp cassoulet $13.50: I’ve said it lots of time here, I don’t like Salmon. But this Scottish Salmon was very mild and soft in texture. I thought the best part as the rock shrimp cassoulet! It made for a great sauce and the mixture of chowing a bit of mooshy beans and little chewy shrimp were wonderful!

idaho trout brown butter, cauliflower, golden raisins $12.50: Good trout dish, trout was perfectly cooked with a slight crisp edge. Still wasn’t anything more special than any other trout dish I’ve had at other high end restaurants.

braised beef short ribs shallot potatoes, asparagus 14.5: Oh!! My favorite meat dish of the night. It honestly was better than the pot roast I had at Jar… The beef was melty tender and the sauce rich and flavor… the potatoes were just EXCELLENT…

We had made plans to head over to Literati (Bad idea during finals... I should have know!) and enjoy some Beard Papa Cream Puffs one of the party had brought along so we ordered no dessert… Still, when the check came, the waitress came with a plate of teeny chocolate chip cookies and a tiny serving of whole milk. A very nice and unexpected treat!! :)

The damage minus a $15 Giftcard and a nice tip for an equally nice waitress was $40 per person for five… not too bad! It almost makes me wish I had another final next week… ALMOST…


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