Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Neighborhood Nook

Nook was quite hard to find. Not only is it in an ordinary looking strip mall, it is also in the back corner of said mall. And while the website boasts a red arrow, the actual place is marked by a big blue arrow (that does not say Nook). After walking round and round I finally found the place.

The restaurant was not too crowded or loud - it is a good place to have a nice dinner and actually have conversation! Plus free parking.

Instead of bread or amuse bouche, Nook does something different: boiled peanuts. Not very friendly to the peanut-allergy folks out there, but this reminds me of my childhood when I used to buy boiled peanuts at the zoo (you're supposed to buy them and feed the elephants but I thought I deserved them more than the elephants!).

I ordered some "New Orleans style gumbo" and a portion of the proceed goes to the hurricane relief fund - good cause!
As far as the gumbo goes, though, I thought it was just okay. Good but I've had much better gumbo. Well, let me put it this way: It was a good soup - but if you ask me, it ain't gumbo! Can't compare to the one I had at Luke in NOLA.

Crispy Fried Calamari ($10)
Tossed with citrus-soy vinaigrette and wasabi dipping sauce.
This was a good calamari - not too greasy as it sometimes tends to be. The wasabi dipping sauce is interesting and is a delicious twist - it helps cut the grease of the fried calamari.

Shiitake and Gruyere Bread Pudding ($7)
Quite a flavorful and aromatic bread pudding! Liked this dish a lot (although it could use more shiitake for better texture) - it was better the next day when the bread has soaked up all the flavors :P

New Zealand green lip mussel pan roast ($12)
with linguisa sausage, oven-dried tomato, garlic, herbs and white wine saffron brot
Really loved the broth for this dish. The mussels are also big, plump and juicy. Probably my favorite dish of the night, and not bad for $12 (there were more mussels, this was half eaten)

Sauteed Brown Rice Bowl ($12)
With tofu, carrots, broccoli, and egg white this is a very healthy dish. And tastes kinda healthy too :P It is much better the day after as a leftover, just like fried rice is much better when made with day-old rice. Pretty basic dish, nothing special.

For dessert we got the chocolate pot de creme, as it was recommended to us ($7)
It's a pretty small pot but definitely a delicious dessert. The current menu online lists chocolate pot de creme with fresh strawberries, but I believe the one we had were blueberries.

The prices are Nook Bistro were pretty reasonable and the food is delicious (even if they can't do gumbo, IMHO) with good quality ingredients. An excellent neighborhood bistro and a pretty casual dining place. Nothing mindblowing but definitely good comfort food. I'll definitely be back.

Nook Bistro
11628 Santa Monica Blvd #9
Los Angeles, CA 90025
T 310.207.5160
http://www.nookbistro.com

Nook Bistro on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

Diana H.

For a second there I thought that was a heap of ricotta cheese on the rice bowl! I was very relieved to see that it was actually an egg white. :) I love Nook - especially their mac 'n cheese and dessert bread pudding!

TonyC

boiled peanut apps? wow, that's downright Chinese!

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