Latest Adventures

Taste on Melrose, West Hollywood


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While browsing through OpenTable's list of restaurants, I came across Taste on Melrose, a quaint restaurant that serves updated Californian cuisine. They were offering a 3-course prix fixe menu for only $26, so I knew that it was worth a try. We asked our foodie friends to join us on this adventure, and the following photos are glimpses of what we consumed that night.

Please allow me to preface this by mentioning that the restaurant, although quaint, was dimly lit. So the pictures you will see are the best pictures I could take because I had to use my flash. I think that the photos look terrible and don't do much justice to the food, but at least you'll have an idea of what it looked like. Sort of.

Since we got there first, I took the liberty of ordering a cocktail to sip while we waited. Introducing the Tell Me You Love Me drink comprise of Smirnoff Pear Vodka, St. Germain liquer, orange juice, cranberry juice, pomegranate purée and a splash of soda. It was refreshing, fruity goodness, but unfortunately, I pretty much had to nurse this drink all night on account of me turning into a lightweight post-offspring. We also ordered the Calamari Fritti, which was served with a chipotle aioli. Crunchy batter, good dipping sauce, we practically devoured it before our friennds showed up.

We also got the Crispy Rock Shrimp to share. These are lightly battered fried rock shrimp that's served with three different dipping sauces: wasabi aioli, spicy aioli and a sweet & sour Thai sauce. I really liked this dish, and thought that the wasabi aioli was the best complement - the pungent, spicy wasabi with the delicate flavor of the shrimp was the perfect match.

For the first course, we all pretty much agreed to try the White Truffle Oil & Mushroom Mac n' Cheese. Ingredients included, you guessed it, white truffle oil, shiitake mushrooms (if I remember correctly), macaroni and globs of cheese. I really liked it, I thought that the truffle flavor was really strong, it was a good dish. Side note: the girls were served lukewarm, almost cold ramekins of the first course, so to compensate for the mistake, we ended up with a full serving and a half of mac n' cheese to enjoy at the table and to take home.

The girls chose the Kobe Meatballs for the main course. Two gianormous meatballs with pine nuts, golden raisins and caramelized onions on top of linguine swimming in a white truffle cheese fondue. I personally like all the different flavors and textures, the meatballs were super moist, but had crunch because of the pine nuts and sweetness because of the raisins and the onions. The linguine was cooked al dente, and was so good with the cheesy sauce that had white truffle flavor in the background. My friend thought that the meatballs were too soggy for her tastes, though. Maybe adding some (more) bread crumbs would have helped.

The boys chose the Crispy Chicken Paillard, thin piece of breaded chicken cutlet that is fried and served with a potato purée, white gravy, a baby arugula salad and red onion jam. The chicken was golden brown perfection - crunchy on the outside, but tender white chicken meat just one layer below. The potatoes and gravy were really great, the arugula helped cut the richness of the dish. I actually preferred this over my entreé.

For dessert, it was boys vs. girls again, with the boys choosing the Crème Bruleé. It was a good dish, but there wasn't anything memorable about it. The girls, on the other hand, picked the Chocolate Bread Pudding. Chocolatey goodness mixed with bread and custard, then topped with cream? Sign me up! One of the best bread puddings I have had, and was easily my favorite dish at Taste.

The service was great, the food was decent at reasonable prices (if you go the prix fixe route, anyway). Overall, this is definitely worth a taste.

Taste on Melrose, 8454 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood