Friday, February 12, 2010

DineLA 2010: Cube Marketplace & Cafe, Artisan Crafted Lunch

Cube was the place I wanted to hit the most for this year's first Dine LA Restaurant Week, in particular their lunch. The Cube Truffle burger, available only on the lunch dine LA menu plus the fact that the three course meal ran only $22.00 per person led me to take an "extended lunch" with Wandering Chopsticks, since, alas, it was not open for lunch on Sundays.

If you didn't catch it the first time, the place is called Cube Marketplace & Cafe, so of course they sell various gourmet, artisan food products, along with cute kitchen and table wares and $50 bowls.

The Dine LA menu had three choices for both appetizer and entree, but WC and I wanted the same thing and didn't want to risk sharing something we might not want, so we both placed the same orders.

For our appetizer: Shaved brussels sprout salad (satsumas, toasted hazelnuts, pomegranates, pecorino, hazelnut vinaigrette) - regularly $11
They didn't even cut down on the portion. This plate of salad would've satisfied me until dinner time, but I had to trek on. The citrusy combination of the satsumas, pomegranates, and vinaigrette is a bit acidic, though the toasted hazelnuts balanced that off quite nicely and each bite was at once crunchy and refreshing.

Moving on: Cube Truffle Burger (house brioche, blue cheese, caramelized shallots, crispy potatoes w/ chipotle ketchup on the side) - regularly $15. Arugula and tomato slices are provided on the side to build your burger to your liking.
The brioche bun may be smaller in diameter, but it packs in one thick, juicy patty. While indulging in a slurry of meat juices amidst the strong aroma of blue cheese and truffle oil, you may feel the need to reach for a couple of the thin crisp fried potatoes dipped in the chipotle ketchup. And a couple more. In fact, if I didn't have a strong enough will to make them take away my plate I never would've stopped eating those crispy potatoes.

Although all having all this great food had probably used up my good karma for the day, there was more to come. This time WC and I are actually sharing!
Our first choice was the seasonal fruit cobbler duo (cherry, rhubarb) with tahitian vanilla bean ice cream - regularly $8
The top is a thick granola-laden crust that fit my crust/fruit ratio preference just fine. Both were good, but the cherry in particular was amazing.

Our second dessert choice was the pots de creme duo (butterscotch, Valrhona chocolate) - regularly $8
Being a chocolate lover, I liked this dessert even more. The valrhona pot de creme is thick and dark. I loved the bittersweetness, although be warned that it might be darker than you may expect.

The desserts made me want some hot tea and since Cube does serve loose leaf tea, I ordered myself a pot.

Cube's Dine LA lunch was an amazing deal. $11 salad + $15 burger + $8 dessert = $22, you do the Math (I'm just the bioengineer). Sorry I didn't tell you guys sooner ... hopefully they'll do it for the next Restaurant Week too. Even without it, though, Cube is definitely a place you should try.

Cube Marketplace & Cafe
615 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-1148
www.cubemarketplace.com
Cube at Divine Pasta Co on Urbanspoon
Cube at Divine Pasta Co in Los Angeles

7 comments:

MyLastBite

Had the SAME dishes, so good!!!

weezermonkey

Mmm. I want to go back. This place rocks.

Michael Wohl

I too went to Cube for Restaurant Week lunch, and I too was very excited beforehand. Unfortunately we didn't have nearly as good an experience. Overall the food was very good, but there were several substitutions, some of which the waiter warned us about, but others she didn't, and those were somewhat disappointing. Also, more frustratingly, we waited nearly 30 minutes for each course. This was on a Tuesday at 1pm, and while the place was a bit crowded for the first half hour or so, the last hour it was only us and two other tables, and yet we still waited a ridiculously long time. While the "marketplace" atmosphere is nice for a quick bite, it's really not suited or comfortable for a 2 hour meal. Personally, I wouldn't go back.

EatTravelEat

What a good deal! That truffle burger looks gigantic. I don't think I would be able to finish salad or dessert if I had gotten the burger first :). Did they give you two separate cups of each on purpose or was it supposed to be like that?

EatTravelEat

*when I mean each, I meant of the two different desserts. Whoops...

burumun

Hi Eat Travel Eat: Both of the desserts do normally come with two cups, since they're a "duo" :) So you get two different flavors of each. Love it when they give you a variety!

Kung Food Panda

Looks like a great deal, but too bad I don't like bleu cheese.

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