Dine LA 2014 has come to an end. The Experience was able to review several restaurants for DINELA. The event was from July 14- July 27th. In this article, well review Blue Stove, M.A.K.E., PAICHE, Adoteca, Al Mare and Loteria. Each restaurant offered a special DineLA menu. We chose items from the DineLA menu and occasionally sampled from the main menu when noted.
Blue Stove is my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. Located on the third floor of Nordstrom in Santa Monica Place. The restaurant has a cool inviting interior. General manager, Michael Brand, has worked hard to make Blue Stove a destination restaurant. Michael has been in the restaurant business for thirty years. After making Blue Stove an inviting place with delicious food and wine, Michael is moving on. When we arrived for lunch, Michael greeted us with his warm smile. He introduced us to the new General Manager Christina Mendoza. Christina also has a friendly presence and pointed out a few of the new seasonal items on the menu.
Blue Stove serves food tapas style. These are small plates that come out in no particular order. Ordering one plate or fifteen plates is fine. People shopping at the Third Street Promenade stop by with friends to enjoy some wine and a few small plates. The atmosphere at Blue Stove is what’s amazing. It’s hard to believe that this gourmet restaurant is on the third floor of Nordstrom.
To start out our late lunch, we began with the Seared Mushroom and Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest. What a treat. The dressing is amazing. You simply must try this dish at Blue Stove. The recommended wine paring by our server, Luis, was Almarosa Chardonnay. The wine was crisp and delicious. The mushroom and asparagus was also a great start to lunch. As a matter of fact, the salads and vegetarian dishes at Blue Stove are amazing. Another great dish at Blue Stove is the Frisee salad with Munchego Cheese and Quince Vinaigrette.
Next, we tried the Miso Glazed Black Cod. It was a little salty but I still ate every bit of it. For new items that Christina recommended, we tried the Chive and Ricotta Gnocchi with sweet corn puree. This was fantastic. A light dish. The gnocchi was perfectly prepared. The sweet corn puree was also fantastic. Blue Stove regularly introduces new plates, and this one was the stand out. Next, we tried the Ahi Sashimi with Pickled Chili Seaweed salad. This is another great new dish. Blue Stove always has a few new seasonal items that are regularly the best items on the menu. The Ahi Sashimi with Pickled Chili Seaweed was another new item that was simply amazing. A couple of the other vegetarian items we tried were the Crispy Parmesan Polenta and Arugula salad. The dressing on this was excellent. It was light and sweet without being too strong.
The Lump Crab Cakes with Remoulade are always delicious. As far as crab cakes go, Blue Stove creates the best.
Finally for dessert, we tried the Mixed Berry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream. It was tasty and freshly baked.
Blue Stove is great place and I highly recommend it. I love the opportunity to stop by and enjoy a meal with a glass of wine.
220 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Mon-Thu 10 am – 8:30 pm
Fri-Sat 10 am – 9 pm
Sun 11 am – 8 pm
The Experience was invited to visit Adoteca for DineLA week. Adoteca is an Italian restaurant in Brentwood, California. The location in Brentwood is a beautiful place. Great for a romantic dinner or a flavorful lunch. Chef Murre is considered one of the best chefs in Los Angeles.
From the DineLA menu, we started with the house salad and Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bass over a bed of Maui onions and Sicilian zucchini squash drizzle with a blood orange reduction. Both were tasty and freshly made.
We also tried the Carpaccio di Branzino. This was another tasty piece of fish.
The dessert was Profiteroles. They are a kind of choux pastry ball filled with custard. This was really good. The profliteroles were a great end our DineLA meal. We look forward to going back to Adoteca.
11712 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90049
Tel. 310 826 9222
Tuesday to Friday – Lunch 12.00pm – 2.30pm
Monday to Sunday – Dinner 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Perhaps the biggest surprise of DineLA 2014 was M.A.K.E. located on the third floor of the Santa Monica Place mall. M.A.K.E. is the creation of celebrity chef Matthew Kenny. M.A.K.E. has an upscale, luxurious feel. Exposed ductwork and large glass windows create an inviting place to dine and chat. The raw foods that are prepared here are truly magical.
When we arrived for dinner, our server, Brendan, sat us and explained a few of the items from the DineLA menu. Brendan was very knowledgeable about each item. The ingredients are all freshly prepared and assembled in the kitchen.
We began our raw foods experience at M.A.K.E. with Smoked Zucchini Baba Ganoush and Zastar Crackers. Each item is made at the restaurant. The crackers, the purees and the taste is just unbelievable. By Matthew Kenny’s design, there is no cooking. The food is hydrated and prepared in the adjoining kitchen. The Baba Ganoush was simply amazing. This is a dish that every foodie should experience. The mint leaves provide a light accent to the Baba Ganoush.
The Kim Chi dumplings came out next. I was really amazed at the taste of this dish. It was a unique and delicious experience. I couldn’t wait for the next dish. M.A.K.E. is an amazing restaurant. I am so impressed with the presentation. The taste is stunning. Its like nothing I’ve ever had before. Each dish is created individually depending on the season. Manager Laurie explained that the Kim Chi dumplings were a summer variation. The green goddess dressing and red radish puree are as filling as they are beautiful. The edible flowers and tiny leaves give a delicate accent when eating every bite. It’s hard to describe the textures and flavors. You simply must visit M.A.K.E. to understand.
The Kelp Noodles are somewhat famous at M.A.K.E. I am a huge noodle fan, and I have to say that these are some of the best noodles that I’ve ever tried in Los Angeles. They have a slightly nutty flavor. The taste is just incredible. The cashew based black pepper cream sauce really compliments the noodles.
The Lasagna is famous at M.A.K.E. Layers of fresh ingredients. Heirloom tomatoes, Santa Barbara Pistachio and Macadamia Ricotta. It was filling and satisfying. I thought I’d be hungry after eating a meal of just vegetables. I was not hungry. For the rest of the night I remained full and satiated.
Finally for dessert, we tried the Banana split and Citrus cheesecake. Brendan suggested these and it was perfect. We ate everything. We loved every flower and every dribble of oil. I recommend a visit to M.A.K.E. as soon as possible.
395 Santa Monica Place
Santa Monica 90401
Ristorante Al Mare
Known as the easy pick for good food on the Santa Monica Pier, Ristorante Al Mare is a three-story building with good Italian cuisine and stunning ocean views. There is a rooftop deck with a fully stocked bar. The balconies and terraces overlook the pier and are great spots for watching the sun set.
The Experience was invited for DineLA week 2014. When we arrived, we sat on the rooftop deck which has a stunning view of the ocean.
We started with the Caprese. This features fresh Mozzarella, Tomato Caprese with Taggiasche Olives, Basil Oil and Grilled Bread. What a great dish. It was very fresh and delicious.
Next we had the Melanzane alla Parmigiana e Ricotta. Wow, what a great vegetarian appetizer. This is fried and baked Eggplant Parmigiana with Mozzarella, Ricotta, Marinara, Parmesan and Basil. Giacomo selects the best ingredients for his menu. It really shows.
For our entrée we tried the Margherita pizza. This had a light tomato sauce with Parmesan, Mozzarella, Oregano, and Basil. It arrived hot and was baked perfectly.
Of course we had to try a soup. We selected the Zuppa di Pomodoro. This is a tomato soup served with grilled Ciabatta bread and drizzled with roasted garlic oil. This was a delicious soup.
For dessert we had the sorbet with fruit. Sorbet is made to clear the pallet after eating a good meal. What a great tradition. It was a delicious end to a tasty meal.
We recommend Al Mare when you’re on the pier in Santa Monica. Stop by for drinks, lunch or dinner.
250 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone 310-458-4448 Main
July 27, the last day of dineLA, I picked my lunch at PAICHE in Marina del Rey.
PAICHE, named after the Amazonian fish, opened on April 2, 2013 by Chef Ricardo Zarate. This restaurant is Peruvian Izakaya (Tapas style).
There is a pre-fixed menu for dineLA week. Lunch is $25.
My partner and I ordered Spicy Tuna Taco and Eggplant Tartar for the first course, Susado De Pescado (Sauteed Branzino Filet w/ Tomato Stew & Roasted Vegetables) and Arroz Con Pollo (Pan Seared Chicken w/ Cilantro Rice & Hauncaina) for Secound Course. Final course, we had Churros and Tapioca.
Spicy Tuna Taco was a great beginning to our lunch. Both spicy tuna and the rice at the bottom were enhanced with great flavor. Each bite was delicious! The eggplant was very good as well. It melted in your mouth.
The Cilantro Rice was phenomenal. You could visit PAISCHE just for the Cilantro Rice. Chicken was juicy. Branzino filet with tomato sauce was just ok.
Churros are….yeah donuts! We had donuts with Chocolate and Lucuma Sauce. Tapioca was very good.
There is a full bar and the popular cocktail is Pisco Sour. They of course serve Paiche fish (seared), and Row fishes – Ceviche (Sashimi style). Very unique menu choices, it’s Peruvian Japanese!
13488 Maxella Ave.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
July 27, the last day of dineLA.
For dinner, we tried ¡Loteria! GRILL in Santa Monica.
It’s a casual Mexican Restaurant on 3rd Street Promenade.
The first Loteria Grill was opened in the summer of 2002 at the Farmers Market in Los Angeles. Now there are 6 locations – Farmers Market, Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica, Westlake Village Fig at 7th.
The DineLA Summer menu was $35 per person.
First, I just had to have Watermelon & Strawberry Juice. Very tasty summer drink!
First course: Ensalada de Jitomate y Sandia (Heirloom Tomato, Summer Watermelon, Queso Feta, Jamaica Reduction) Jamaica is hibiscus.
The salad had an artful presentation! It was refreshing!
We ordered a soup from the menu. It was delicious.
Second Course: Enchiladas de Mahi Mahi en Salsa de Chile Chipotle (Enchiladas of Mahi Mahi in a smoky Chipotle Sauce, White Rice and Black Beans.
We ordered Vegetable tacos from the regular menu. (Cactus, Zucchini, Mushrooms and Potatoes). These were crispy and delicious.
The Mahi Mahi Enchiladas were very tasty. The white rice was salted and tasty!
For Dessert, we had Mango Lime Tart. (Lime Shortbread, Mango Custard , Fresh Mango and Strawberries and Lime Sherbet).
We chose the right menu! The meal and the service was great! Thank you to Daniella. I will definitely come back!
1251 3rd Street Promenade,
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Written by Yayoi and Dustin Brown