Thursday, April 14, 2016

Romantic Cavatina Heats Up The Sunset Marquis

A romantic, quiet outdoor dining just off of the Sunset Strip, Cavatina is currently flying under the radar. It's surprising that not more people know about this restaurant, which offers a solid menu of both food and wine.

Not a lot of people know about this restaurant that is hidden inside the Sunset Marquis hotel, but it offers a gorgeous outdoor dining experience. Get a table on the outside that overlooks the man-made waterfall for a more romantic setting.
Cavatina's cuisine is originally headed by James Beard winning Chef and Restaurateur Michael Schlow who has a restaurant empire on the East Coast. I've previously had a great lunch experience at Cavatina, but now I returned to try the dinner menu. The evening provided a very different ambiance as well!

Lamb meatballs, tomato, cumin, pine nuts ($12)
It's nice that the tomato sauce here doesn't overpower the flavors of the meatballs themselves.

Homemade potato chips ($7) with green chile onion dip - this one's a mainstay on the menu that I've had during lunch before.

Yellowtail, cucumber agua chile, pickled persimmon, masago ($19), a light and refreshing dish that highlights the texture of the yellowtail.

I tried a couple of the cocktails here as well, starting with the Rudolph Valentino (because it was St Patrick's Day): star-anise infused Jameson Irish whiskey, cherry juice, lemon, Cio Ciaro Amaro, Domaine de Canton ($16)

Overall the cocktails were pretty good and were not too sweet.

Crostini with homemade ricotta and truffle honey ($8)
Such a simple yet delicious appetizer.

Wild arugula salad with market figs, baby beets, parmigiano reggiano, white truffle vinaigrette ($12)

With this they poured a 2014 Pinot Blanc from Domaine Schlumberger (Alsace)

Warm shrimp, lobster, chorizo, piquillo peppers, spicy aioli, crispy rice ($19)
It's unusual to find shrimp and especially lobster combined with such bold flavors like chorizo and peppers, but the sweetness of the shellfish worked well with the spiciness, although the shellfish didn't become the main component here.

Risotto with pork belly, kimchi, and quail egg ($16)
Paired with Archery Summit Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley
This was probably our favorite dish of the night, but we were biased - because, pork belly and kimchi, come on. Nonetheless, the light spiciness of the kimchi works wonders with the creamy risotto, especially combined with the sweet glazed pork belly and the crispy onions. I could eat this all day.

The Marquis Cheeseburger (crispy onions, cheddar and horseradish black-pepper sauce, $18)
I also wasn't expecting to get a great burger at a hotel restaurant like this, but there you have it. The crispy onions were a nice touch that add a fun textural component.

Mediterranean sea bass, olive oil, sea salt, lemon, vegetable salad ($35)
The sea bass was beautifully cooked, the skin was perfectly crispy and the fish nice and flaky. There's not much garnish or sauce needed for the beautiful fish.

We had some great wine pairings as well in the hands of our server, trying new wines like this Daou Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles.

After all the food we had for dinner, we opted for a small dessert, a butterscotch pudding.
I'm still surprised how many people do not really know about Cavatina. With great food, lovely ambiance, Cavatina makes for a nice spot whether you want a romantic date night or a fun brunch date with your friends! Next time you're looking for a new spot to try near the Sunset Strip, remember this place.


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