Awhile ago, I posted a request for some a new (as in, opened within the last 6 months) restaurant to bring my boyfriend to while he was in town. While there were excellent suggestions... Josie was a mite too far away for our plans, as was Rocca. I didn't want to go to Opaline, and the menu at Zax wasn't overly tempting at the time I made my reservations. Although there hadn't been too much written about it on the board, I eventually decided to make a reservation at Table 8, on Melrose. (Decision was influenced, in part, by the fact that it was close to our hotel. Also, influenced by a very good review in the LATimes, which I do generally take with a grain of salt.)
I apologise in advance for being woefully horrid with details. We ate at a lot of good restaurants this weekend, and besides, I was already part drunk by the time we got to Table 8 for dinner, having gone out for cocktails beforehand.
It is a pleasant room, dim but not overly so. I remembered liking the atmosphere, how the walls gave off a pleasant glow. About 1/2-2/3rds full when we got there at 8:30 last Friday, and when we left 2 hours later. Crowd was a mix of people - some young, some old, some on dates, some looking like they had bought their dates..
To start, we ordered the grilled sweetbreads with torn pasta. This was definitely a winner. I'd never had sweetbreads before, and was slightly fearful, but this was definitely a good experience. I'm not sure what they're supposed to taste like, but in this presentation, they were a pleasant texture - neither too chewy nor too mushy - and the torn pasta consisted of sheets of pasta, al dente.. sprinkled with something crunchy which added a pleasant mouth-feel.
As entree, I ordered the loup de mer with beluga lentils (and some other vegetable, but I can't remember again). Two nicely-sized filets of fish came out, seared to a good crisp on one side, while the rest of the fish was tender and flaky and not overdone. I found it a tad salty, but was very pleased with it overall. Definitely liked my lentils, too. Had never seen this type before, and they fell in between the mushy icky "normal" green lentils and the de Puy lentils which I prefer. Boyfriend ordered squab, I think, with a clementine-and-something-else glaze. I only had a bite - which was very good - and he definitely enjoyed it.
Desserts were recited. I only wish I could remember what we ordered but I can't. Definitely too much alcohol was consumed. I do remember liking it, though.
Service was nice - the waitress was friendly, water was filled unobstrusively, dishes came at a pleasant pace. Along with a bottle of wine, the tab came to about $120 before tip.
It was a pleasant dinner. While I did enjoy it, I probably would not come rushing back here, although I would definitely return. The atmosphere lends itself well to a nice date, and also perhaps an outing with friends. Perhaps if my brain hadn't been so addled with alcohol, I'd remember more and make more definitive statements.
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