In a rare and glorious time-blessing, I had plans to be on the westside last night and decided to hit a place I've been jonesing for - Violet. I'm in my purple phase, after all :)
Place: Violet, Thursday, 3/9 - 9:00 PM
Myself + 1 guest (Uber-hot South African darling-friend)
Ratings in brief:
Ambiance - C+
Great curb appeal, but the interior design is weird. White paintings on one wall, mirrors on another, and strange silver/tinny rafters. Plus uncomfortable chairs. And not violet enough. Hmph.
Service - C+
So-so. We had to pour our own wine and water throughout the eve; the service was friendly but way, way too casual - I like a bit more pampered-goodness.
Food (Taste) - B
Some things were really good, some just OK - but nothing was sock-knocking.
Food (Presentation) - B+
Definitely a lovely plating flair.
Wine/Drinks - B-
Nice wine list, but I wasn't crazy about the wine our waiter helped us select. It opened up and lost it's zing.
Value - C+
Tapas can get very expensive, and because none of the dishes had wow-factor, this wasn't really a good bargain.
Overall Experience - C+
A lovely evening, but not anything I need to repeat.
Right then, rezs were at 9, and we were seated right away at the best table in zee place - right up front in the corner, tucked away from the stacked tables in the center of the room. Yay yay yay.
Ordered our wine, salivated over the menu, and commented on the very strange decor - didn't really work. The elements didn't match up well and the ceiling looked tacky with silver plated rafters. Still, we were there for the FOOD.
Nice large crusty loaf with butter - tasty.
Ordered a Michael Redde Sancerre - the notes on this were gorgeous and fruity, but as it opened up, the flavor faded - not really a good wine. $41 for the bottle.
TAPAS (all options are small plates)
Crab Salad with tomato jewels (a special) - A whole pile of fresh flaked crab slathered in oily-vinegary dressing and served on a couple of large romaine leaves - this was good. Not ohmygod good, but decent.
Multicolored beats with goat cheese - A very pretty dish, but it had a tiny dollup of goat cheese (which I loved, but there just wasn't enough of it) - the beets themselves were pretty tastless.
Seared scallops with a raisin puree and cauliflower florets - The scallops were barely larger than a water bottle cap, and only 3 were included. For 16 bucks, this was a rip-off. Yes, the flavors were lovely, but come ON.
Mushroom ravioli with butter, parmesan, and sage - Yummy. But only because they were oh-so-generous with the butter. A great sauce - texture of the ravioli was decent, but couldn't hold a candle to the ravioli I had on Sunday at Providence. Not even in the same league.
Braised beef short ribs with shallot potatoes and asparagus - Boneless, truly melt-worthy ribs in a nice mild brown sauce. The potatoes were way, way too subtle (and again, SUCH a small portion) - they just didn't add anything. Aspargus was a nice touch.
Macaroni and cheese with ham and gruyere - My favorite dish of the night - baked, crusty cheesy yumminess on the top and really ooey gooey macaroni heaven inside. And a perfect portion, finally - enough to really relish but not feel bloated. This is the only dish I'd love to have again.
And even after all of these goodies, we weren't actually full. None of the desserts inspired us, however, so that was the end.
Overall, a decent dining experience, but the portion sizes were insulting. I LOVE the tapas trend, as long as I feel the mini-morsels are worthy of the high prices. Violet - not so much.
The damage for 1 bottle of sparkling water, 1 bottle of wine, and 6 tapas was $122 before tip.
3221 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA
Cross street - 32nd.