The Mar Vista
We are back in LA having our winter sojourn. I am well aware that living in NYC we are spoiled on so many levels so I do try very hard to think differently when we are out here dining and doing. It might take me many more years.
Mar Vista is a neighborhood on the move. It is the place where I go every Sunday to the farmers market. The opening of this restaurant, The Mar Vista, says something about the shift in the neighborhood which is close enough to Venice and Santa Monica but not as expensive. I loved this designate driver sign when walking in.
The menu is connected to what is at the fresh products from the farmers market that is literally across the street. The place was humming having opened about two weeks ago. The restaurant is open and airy with big windows that open to the street. The ceiling has large wooden beams jutting across it with plants hanging from them. A new version of a fern bar?
They make their own bread there. This is called the OG bread and butter. Excellent sourdough baguette with whipped butter on the side. I would have liked to see that butter a tad saltier and whipped a bit more but this was a nice start to the meal.
Briny oysters served with a pear and vegetable mignonette. Nice touch but would have liked to see the mignonette on the side.
The carne asada plate can be a single experience or shared. We shared. Slices of steak served with a Latin style tasting coleslaw with plenty of cilantro over a plate of black beans. Nice flavors but the presentation is heavy handed.
Here is the thing that threw me. This restaurant is a collaboration of four chefs who came together to open this restaurant. The hotpot that came out was not hot it was boiling. You could see that someone had left is on the stove too long because you shouldn’t bring anything boiling to a table and boiling this mixture for too long destroys the taste. This is a mixture of pork belly, squash, crispy scallions and rice. There were clumps of rice inside the pot too. The flavors were there but it felt just tossed together on the kitchen line. Not what you would expect from four chefs in the kitchen.
A few desserts are on the menu we tried the brownie which is a singular serving. A thick chocolatey brownie served on a spoon with a toasted marshmallow on the top and caramel dripped over that. This sits on a plate of crispy rice puffs. Good but certainly not omg.
No doubt an excellent addition to the neighborhood. Even the menu has a kids section. Will be interesting to see what pops up in Mar Vista next.