Last week was ALL NONA for me, meaning, I went there for Dinner, Lunch, and Breakfast. This restaurant is located on Ventura Blvd (south side), next to the Corbin Bowl, and across from SOL Y LUNA. Shenwah Shanghai Bistro used to occupy this space. Next door to the Japanese restaurant - Ueru-Ka-Mu.
The restaurant's capacity is around 80, and a private area at the back that can sit 18 people separated with a curtain.
Wine List - One page, reasonable prices but boring. Sangria - $6.75, Carafe ($25).
A good size parking lot, mostly compact, bigger space on the east end of the strip mall.
We(2) went there for dinner first, and Tapas was the order of the night. There was only one table of 6, when we arrived at 7:30 and another elderly couple came in during the night. When we left, the restaurant was empty.
Warm bread is served with a small trays of olive tapanade, and olive oil + balsamic vinegar
DINNER: TAPAS (good for 2)
Beer - Sam Adams - $5
We rated the following as very good because of its flavors, and presentation:
1) Lamb Chops (2), megez sausage, fava beans, oven roasted tomato - $8 -
2) Flat Iron steak(cut into 4 pieces), braised beluga lentils, english peas, cippoloni onions
3) Grilled Shrimp, Israeli couscous, fried leeks, spicy carrot puree - $7 -
Good (still good flavors):
1) Sauteed Salmon with cucumber, medjool date, and walnut salad, saffron emulsion - $7
2) Lamb and mint kabob, pine nuts, tahini - $7
Average (had better olive plate in W Hotel)
1) Mediterranean Olives, sweet peppers, sherry vinegar - $4
Warm Flourless Chocolate, vanilla ice cream with fresh berries - Very good - $7
LUNCH: - the following day
There were around 8 other tables occupied.
I brought 3 of my colleagues to this place and got mixed reviews. 2 tried & shared the Tapas I recommended (lamb chops, flat iron, grilled shrimp) and they went for the Crisp Calamari, sambal aioli - $6, as well. They were impressed and very satisfied with their meals. They want to come back to try the other tapas.
Me and my other colleague are basically a sucker for lamb, and we went for the lamb sandwich ($11.00 marinated eggplant, feta, mint yogurt, olive bread). We were very disappointed, it had no flavor, it was so bland that I started doubting if they tried their own food at all. In the words of Tom Colicchio, it is cooking 101, season your food.
BREAKFAST - Saturday morning.
There were 3 of us, and the experience was good but not exceptional. There were around 6 other tables occupied. For the price, you can have better breakfast elsewhere. I ordered house cured salmon but it was not available.
Egg White Omelet, $12.00 - spinach, goat cheese and oven roasted cherry tomatoes
Shaksuka, $11.00 - Mediterranean style tomatoes, peppers, over medium eggs
Organic Vegetable Frittata, $11.00 - fromage blanc, extra virgin olive oil
Shaksuka was good, the spice of the peppers was excellent with the eggs.
Coffee was good as well.
Go for the TAPAS, corkage is $7. Avoid the sandwiches (blurted out by one of the waiters when chatting with one of them on Saturday for Breakfast). Breakfast is a little pricey.
This restaurant first opened in July of 2007, owned by an Israeli couple. They tried to sell it 2 months ago, but the deal (Armenian buyer) fell through the day we went for dinner.
It has potential, but if they want to continue, some glitches have to be mended.
I wonder how their salads are, maybe next time.
19598 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana - (818) 881-9855