Tasca - Beverly Hills Adjacent
8108 Third St.
Cross street: Crescent Heights
Wednesday, 6/28 - 8:30 PM
Myself + 1 guest (The very-favorite Foodie Friend)
The Very Favorite Food Friend finally got the chance to take me out to zee belated birthday dindin. Our outings are always a mystery (depending on who’s paying), but when he grabbed a delicious French red on the way out the door, I had a damn good guess where we were headed. Damn good, because I was right :)
Tasca is a new joint in a small space on Third Street. They specialize in real-deal Spanish-style tapas but don’t have their liquor license yet, so they’re gracious enough to offer a ZERO corkage fee. That’s your first clue that this place isn’t following the LA trend.
Ratings and descriptions:
Ambiance - B+
I love the interior - extraordinarily warm and cozy, illuminated perfectly by soft hues and candlelight - it’s uber-cozy and very homey inside.
Service - C+ In true Spanish-tapas style, they are sorely understaffed. I believe the sweet gentleman running the floor is also an owner - he was gracious but slow, and there was a lot of disorganization. Forgivable, but notable.
Food (Taste) - B+ I gotta say, the chef’s got hardcore talent. We sampled a ton of flavors, and while nothing was risk-taking wild, *everything* was well balanced and delicious.
Food (Presentation) - B I love how the gazpacho was served in a tall glass instead of a bowl - nice touch.
Wine/Drinks - C+ True, they don’t have a wine list (yet) but the no corkage gets kudos. Bigtime.
Value - B- The average tapa was about $11, but although we were told they weren’t THAT small, we did order a LOT in order to get full/fat/happy.
Overall Experience - B
An absolutely lovely neighborhood spot with top-end flavors. If I still lived in this ‘hood, I would stake my claim at the bar on a regular basis.
FOOD STUFFS Drinks:
Brought our own - and damn was it fab.
We didn’t get bread until our second to last course - wah. But it was rather benign, so we didn’t miss much :)
Burrata salad with prosciutto, greens, tomatoes, and balsalmic ** Absolutely outstanding - I pledge allegiance to burrata. That kind of mouth-watering, velvety, cheesy goodness deserves endless accolades.
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho ** Served in the cutest glass, and topped with crab and avocado, this was SO incredibly delish - it had a refreshing citrusy twang that made irresistible.
Braised Short Ribs with Butternut Squash Ravioli ** Gah! So good! Those little boneless meaty morsels dissolved on contact, bless them, and the squash pasta yummies? Decadent. Gorgeous. I want more NOW.
White Asparagus Gratin ** If you love these little albino beauties, this is a must - heavenly, mild cheese, balsamic drizzles, and grilled perfectly.
Mediterranean Olives and Nuts ** An assortment of olives with almonds, pecans, and other nutty goodies seeping in high-end olive oil. I don’t have to describe these lovely gifts, righto?
Arancini with Fontina in Tomato Sauce ** A little taste of Sicily - these were fluffy and comforting. Not bursting with flavor, but I did have an Italy moment - authentic, indeed.
Artisan Cheese Plate
** We had a manchego, a black truffle cheese, and a brie-like offering I don’t remember much about. This also came with the bread we had yet to receive, a bit o’ fig, and grapes + apples. Just about the cutest cheese plate I’ve ever spied.
Trio of Creme Brulee ** This could have been a strike-out. The first flavor - Vanilla - was *really* running when we cracked into it. Not the right consistency, and yet, the flavor was divine - truly. The chocolate offering had a milky, luscious kick, and the rosemary? PERFECT. Texture, flavor, everything - so amazing. But these puppies were just too small!
I’m not at all sure what the final damage was, but with 7 small plates and a dessert, and Pelligrino, I’m guessing around $120, with tax.
Final word - They need help on the floor, but not in the kitchen. With a little more staffing love and some word of mouth, Tasca will be the neighborhood go-to for awesome food and a splendid, non-scene-y ambiance. She’s a keeper.
Ciao', Hounds -