The Curious Palate

The Curious Palate
395 Santa Monica Pl
Santa Monica, CA 90401
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Type: Restaurant, Cafe, Bar
Category: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Special Events
Company: Everyone
Cost: $5-$14/item
Quickie: Comfort meets techniques and flavors from around the world

I always knew there would be a day when I came across a restaurant that could fit in my back pocket. The one that would be my take-to for visitors, the one I'd offer up in "have you been to..." foodie conversations, and most importantly - the one that could more than satisfy any type of hankering, morning through night. With  a dish for every meal, any day of the week, The Curious Palate has rightfully staked its claim.

And it doesn’t stop at the food. Tucked in the back of The Market on the third floor of Santa Monica Place Mall, The Curious Palate is open from 10am to 10pm, and boasts easy access and ample parking.

Aioli Trio
And those are just the logistics.  

The little brother to the original location in Mar Vista, The Curious Palate is owned and run by Elliot Rubin and Mark Cannon, with chef Tim Morill at the kitchen’s helm. Like the menu, the trio comes from all trades of the world to create a calendar of events and spectrum of food that will inevitably turn first-time customers in to weekly habits. The collaboration between Rubin; an engineer by trade, Cannon; a television producer, and Morill; a North Carolina guy at heart with a tongue to satisfy and delight the most down-home desires to the greatest super tasters means that there is a lot going on at TCP.

In addition to being open for breakfast through dinner, TCP offers fun twists to the concept of happy hour that you’ve gotten used to everywhere else:

Nightly Happy Hour (3-7pm)
Thursday Pizza & Pitchers (30% off pitchers of beer)
Tasting Dinner: Pre-fix for 5+ courses paired with beer or wine (next is Spanish Tapas+Wine on 2/7)

Last week I went to the first Tasting Dinner of 2012, and despite being absolutely full I’ll admit that it felt more like an amuse a bouche than a dinner because when I left all I wanted was more. Luckily, there are three meals a day, and frankly there is no dish to not have here. Like everything at TCP, there is nothing you won’t recognize – but get ready, it’s all better than you can imagine. For example…

Breakfast: French Toast (bourbon battered brioche, brown butter, golden raisin and pistachio syrup, crème Chantilly), Sausage Omelette (linquica, roasted red peppers, basil, smoked gouda).

Lunch: Miso Short Rib Wrap (beef short rib, cabbage, red onion, Japanese pickles, miso dressing, flour tortilla), Frisee sux Lardon Salad (frisee salad, crispy pork belly, sous-vide duck egg, brioche crouton, whole grain mustard vinaigrette).

Dinner:  Shrimp ‘n’ Grits (white hominy, red eye gravy, sous-vide farm egg), Foraged Mushroom Pizza (goat cheese, caramelized onion, pine nuts, white truffle oil), Beef Cheek Tacos (braised in espresso, peanut mole).

Dessert: Chocolate Pate (salted caramel, white chocolate cherry ice cream, cocoa crumbs), Curious Sundae (espresso cocoa butter ice cream, salted caramel, candied pistachios).

Wine/Beer List: Hand selected to nicely date anything you might eat, just ask and you will get a customized recommendation to match your food. With Tempranillo from Vega Murillo, Viognier from Summerland Paradise Road, White Ale from Telegraph Brewing Co., and Allagash Curieux from Allagash Brewing, you know you’ll be drinking even after you’ve finished eating.

OTC Tip: Bring friends, sit at the bar, and order plates to share. Ask chef Morrill for recommendations. Attend one of the special events listed above.

I know, I know, it all sounds too great to be true – but when you go and find yourself seated next to regulars (not monthly or weekly but daily) and throughout the night hear women (yes, there were several) proposing in a purring call “Marry Me!” to chef Tim in between moaning bites – you’ll become a believer of the love, good taste, and promise for curiously better (yet absolutely simple) ways to do the world’s favorite foods.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was in LA for a week in December and ate at the Curious Palate five times. The food is incredible. Chef Tim has a great future ahead of him.

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