Throughout the year, the Palisadian-Post offers restaurant reviews—from neighborhood favorites to something new.
A few months after Porta Via Palisades opened in Palisades Village, the Post went in for a visit. The Palisades iteration is a spin-off of Peter Garland’s classic, upscale casual bistro, which has been operating in Beverly Hills for over 25 years. Pictured above is the Kale Salad, a visually and gastronomically vibrant mound of kale and quinoa with grilled red onion, pine nuts, crispy leeks, oven-dried tomatoes and large shards of Parmesan shrapnel, doused in a very understated honey mustard vinaigrette.
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, now open in Santa Monica, originally started four years ago in Washington, D.C., with is a second location nearby in Falls Church, Virginia. Donuts here run from $2.50 to $3.50 each while a dozen can be purchased for $38. There are the evergreen staple flavors—Plain, Cinnamon Sugar Cake, Vanilla Glazed and Raspberry, for instance; all are up to snuff. And then there are the decadent special (temporary) flavors, four of which are replaced each month. In May, those seasonal donut varietals included such creative ideas as Cannoli, Root Beer Float, the scrumptious Chocolate Raspberry Truffle flavor and the outstanding Strawberry Guava Smoothie.
Run by Palisadians Gianbattista “Gianba” and Marlo Vinzoni, a husband and wife team who have lived in Lower Las Casas for 15 years, CinqueTerre WEST Osteria operates in the space formerly occupied by Pinocchio in Cucina. “Pino said he was tired and I said, ‘If you’re tired, let’s talk,’” Chef Gianba said of the takeover before CinqueTerre opened its doors. Gianba brings with him more than 25 years of experience, starting as a dishwasher and working at several Los Angeles hot spots, including Soho House and Beverly Hilton Hotel. His latest job was executive chef at Fig and Olive. Pictured here is the Buridda: This traditional Ligurian fish stew comes chock-full of seafood, including scallops, mussels and clams.
Occupying the spot where the legendary, beloved Mort’s Deli stood until 2007, Hank’s was created by Bruce and Eric Bromberg, who founded the Blue Ribbon Sushi empire in 1992 (with locations around Los Angeles, Manhattan and Brooklyn, Las Vegas, and across Palisades Village) and Rick Caruso. The menu pays homage to the much-missed Mort’s on the menu with the Mort’s Reuben and Matzo Ball Soup options. The Butter Burger, pictured here, consisted of two beef patties marinated in red wine and bone marrow butter.
Since February, My Little Dumpling, the upscale casual eatery in West Hollywood, has merged Jewish dishes with Chinese dumplings. While the centerpiece here is the soup dumpling xiao long bao, the traditional dumpling stuffed with meat that many believe originated in the village (today Shanghai suburb) of Nanxiang, the restaurant does not stop there. Among the rolls, wontons, potstickers and buns are a few Jewish delicatessen-worthy hybrids, most notably Reuben Egg Roll with Thousand Island (crispy shells packed with pastrami, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut), which is basically a mini-pastrami sandwich deconstructed and reconstructed as an appetizer. Pictured here are the Cream Cheese Wontons with Lox, another bold, cross-cultural hybrid that works better than it may sound.
Milo SRO has made a notable attempt at becoming a household name in pizza with its new standing-room-only pizza parlor on Pico Boulevard. A doughy spin-off from LA favorite Milo & Olive, the idea for Milo SRO was born when Executive Chef Erin Eastland and Head Baker Zoe Nathan began experimenting with things that were often requested, but they didn’t have room to try—like larger pizzas and gluten-free dough. In an exclusive tasting for the Post, Milo SRO plated its Sausage Pizza, made from a Bianco di Napoli tomato sauce, shredded Le Grande mozzarella and Milo house sausage, with an option to add pickled spicy Fresno chilies.