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upstairs 2 - new tapas place in West L.A.

neurogeek | May 7, 200602:17 AM

Met up with some friends at Upstairs 2, a new Tapas & wine bar above the Wine House right by the entrance to the 405 in between Pico & Olympic. Very odd location for a restaurant, but extra extra bonus is that you get to park your own car in an ample parking lot- an LA first for me...

Apparently only been open a week or two. The tapas were hit & miss, all decent but not consistently winners (though this is often the case with tapas joints, even the best). However the wine list provided some great tasty wine that is available in tasting glass size. Very impressed with all the wine that was paired with the food by our helpful and ultra friendly "wine-guy" who doesn't like being called somellier (sp?).

As to the food, I understand that the business used to be catering only, and the first round of tapas had the feel of food you would get at a cocktail party- heavy on fried bite sized pieces, tasty but not anything special (egg roll thing, epanadas, fried cheese). The second round of tapas I enjoyed a bit more with a great smelly cheese plate, dates covered in jamon and stuffed with asiago (sweet & salty), mint/lamb meatballs, peeled grapes covered in nuts, were all tasty and fairly unique. The highlight of the dishes was saved for last with a venison dish with kale & cranberries that I would definitely go back for.

Will definitely go back as there were other interesting things on the menu (lamb shank that piqued my interest among others) and the wine is enough of a reason for both the quality and the tasting option.

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