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Restaurants & Bars 5

Ole' in Studio City - the former Tournesol (longish)

carter | Feb 20, 200511:53 AM

Well, went last night and the pibs were out in force. All the staff and about half the customers.
Firstly, forget anything you might have remembered or hated about Tournesol. Other than the general footprint of the place, everything is COMPLETELY changed, and for the good. NO MORE YELLOW!
Decor is dark with burgundy colored walls, a larger bar than before, yet in the same place to your right as you enter. Tables are black lacquer, with black leather banquettes. Several wall hangings suggestive of bullfights in Spain, yet not over the top. Some ottomans to sit on in front, also in Burgundy. Room is quite dark and lighting is lowish.
The menu is tapas driven, with one page of around 15 or so from Mushroom/artichoke saute with onion sauce(good yet not overly flavorful since the mushrooms appeared to be the button variety from a can or frozen). Also sauteed sweet shrimp with ajo(garlic) sauce, which was quite good, with a bit more flavor. Portions on tapas as well as entrees were generous. Apps priced from $6-$10 generally, with eel, calamari, fried goat cheese, bruschetta and omelettes being among others available.
Mains were roasted chicken in pomegranate sauce with roasted potatoes, which was an unusual presentation for chicken, yet tasted quite good. Companion had the NY Steak where the steak was already sliced and placed upward along the edges of the mound of mashed potatoes, and then sauced with a 5-peppercorn sauce. Also quite good. Those items were $16 and $18 respectively. Could have just had an entree and a glass of wine and left sated.
Red wines by glass are mostly Spanish, and after trying different ones, priced at $7-$9, felt that the list needs some fine tuning, or it may be that I would rather drink similarly priced French. Oh, well. Also have sherries, ports and the usual other tapas libations by the glass, and a roster of martinis, etc. Truly aiming at the pibs crowd with drinking in mind, yet the food was quite good, and definitely will warrant a few more visits to tour the rather tasty sounding menu. Staff was all new and quite young and eager to help, yet still learning the way around the menu.
Dessert was creme brulee, which was quite dense, yet flavorful, yet not the best ever by far.
Total was $102 plus tip. Did not check into corkage issue.

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