Service was brisk and pleasant. I think I stuck with water but Owen got some iced tea.
Bread basket landed first to the table. A good crusty white bread, and oddly enough, a raisin bread. These were both amazing in their olive oil/finely minced olive dip. The raisins really shone through!
Owen kicked my ass in the healthy department that day, he ordered the
Wakame Seaweed and Organic Green Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette as his starter. I didn't think there was anything particularly special about this salad, honestly, I can eat this at home from a bag of organic salad from Trader Joe's. Owen's not really a fan of seaweed in this fashion so I took advantage of that by sneaking as much as I could on my plate, heh.
So of course, I order the most unhealthiest thing you can order from the appetizer list, the Fried Calamari with Cajun Spice and Spicy Marinara, with Curry dipping sauce. The batter was nice and light, very Japanese tempura style. The squid was nice and supple, not overcooked, this is actually one of the best preparations of calamari I can remember in recent days. The curry dipping sauce is what catapulted this to another level - a bit of a kick, and a different flavor that I'm used to having with calamari. I really enjoyed the combination.
Owen's main course was the Spicy Lobster Roll - Lobster, Shrimp, Smelt Egg, Cucumber, Avocado, which came with more of that salad. If he had known, he would have gotten the soup of the day for an appetizer instead! On to the rolls themselves...
...here's a blurry closeup. I tried one, and I didn't think it was any kind of special at all. I didn't really taste anything that resembled lobster, the roll was pretty dry and uninspired. I doubt I would ever get sushi here if I came back.
However, my meal was much more to my liking - a Kobe Beef Burger - Grilled Kobe Beef with Lettuce, Tomato, Grilled Onion, Aged White Cheddar, Mango Chutney, Spicy Mayonnaise and served with Beer Battered French Fries. This is serious stuff. First off, LOVED the fries. Why aren't all fries beer battered ones? The crispy flavorful texture on the outside, and the warm soft potatoey insides. The person manning the fryer here is a masterful one.
Here's a close up on that burger. It's a decent one, the meat was great quality (although, was it really Kobe? Will I really know?) It was a lot more done than I had asked for (medium), but it didn't detract from the juiciness and the overall satisfuying experience of the burger as a whole. The bun held up well against all the burger ingredients. A solid, filling burger, I only ate half and let Owen eat the rest of it later, which he throughly enjoyed.
Dessert! Owen's favorite part of the meal, he ordered the Profiteroles with Candied Pecan Ice Cream and Hot Fudge. He absolutely loved this. The creamy ice cream was distinctly pecan flavored, but had a subtle burnt sugar taste in the background. The hot fudge was just the right amount, and aided in the melting of the ice cream, which brought it to just the right temperature, soft enough to cut through with a spoon but still frozen enough to let you know it's still ice cream. I think Owen would order this again, definitely.
I decided to get SOME sort of healthy nutrition in me, so I opted for the Fresh Fruit with Green Tea Ice Cream. Nothing special, some of the fruit was off season and tongue punishingly tart, but the green tea ice cream healed all wounds. A welcome light finish to a heavy meal.
I would definitely come here again, even without the special DineLA menu, but I think it's best to stay away from the sushi here. This might be an asian food inspired place but it's no sushi bar.
110 Navy St
Venice, CA 90291