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Restaurants & Bars 8

Madame Matisse in Silverlake - excellent!

tarabell | Mar 20, 200612:12 PM

Tried it out recently with another couple. It is tiny - like maybe 4 tables inside, with another 4-6 tables outside. The staff is very friendly and helpful, but also quite professional and competent. What a nice combination to encounter for a change.

I got the special, a seafood gratin. Nobody seems to make gratins anymore. It was wonderful--lots of shrimp, scallops and calamari under cheese that somehow was NOT rubbery or gooey, but just delicious, with a little browning on top. It was made just perfectly. It comes in a good-size casserole and was plenty by itself.

One person ordered the steamed mussels. This was a large order and had about an inch of creamy, garlicky, herby broth in the bottom of the bowl that was out of this world. Again, this can be made sometimes too garlicy or salty, but this was just right and completely addicting. With the bread to sop this up I can see this being quite enough for a light eater. However he was on a diet and ate neither bread nor much of the sauce and said he was quite satisfied. So his wife and I attacked his sauce with our spoons and smacked our lips over every bit.

The other two in our party had the shortribs. This was a nice portion of ribs covered with a lovely dark brown (wine?) sauce served with potatoes and veggies. My husband (a grouchy, picky eater) liked them a lot. I tasted his and agree--it's absolutely worth ordering. The other wife also pronounced them excellent. So I have a dilemma for next time -- what to order because I would have a hard time deciding between the dishes we had this time. Plus everything ELSE on the menu looks just as tempting. The chef must somehow read my mind and put everything on the menu I like.

At another table someone was eating an enormous plate of pasta with parmesan shavings and prosciutto draped over it which also looked fabulous.

Our bill for the 4 of us was in the low $60s before tip. We thought this was a super deal for the food we got. We've been to a lot of fancier places but with worse food. Oh and the best part? BYOB and NO CORKAGE! They took care of our 2 bottles very graciously and we left a nice tip. This place is definitely on our MUST-RETURN list.

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