Sunday, December 16, 2007

Taste - West Hollywood Flava Sans the Big Bucks

Taste - 8454 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069

You'll find Taste nestled in a cozy corner of the hip Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. It's a trendy bungalow restaurant which I think reflects LA's laid back scene. And while it's busy--make reservations, especially on a weekend--it never gets out of hand as some NY restaurants do on a Saturday. The decor is simple and sleek--modern furniture, white candle light and oversized lamp shades dress the interior.

In terms of food and flavor, you won't miss here. The menu is eclectic, offering anything from French and Mexican appetizers to Italian pasta dishes. Click for

I started out with the Chicken Tortilla soup and although I was disappointed with this solitary soup choice, it's flavor surely made up for it. The soup was chunky, hearty and presented in a lovely plate, topped with creme fraiche and cilantro--yum! Dan ordered the Crab Cakes and while he loved their flavor, they were too cold so he sent them back. They reappeared in a few minutes, pipping hot and absolutely delicious.

For my main course, I ordered the Spicy Shrimp Putanesca and was so glad that I did--it had just the right amount of kick and the shrimp was cooked perfectly. Dan got the Rigatoni Bolognese and as a meat lover, he was quite satisfied. I tried his dish and kept taking fork fulls off his plate--the meat was hearty and infused with fragrant Italian spices.

Service and Cost:
Our waitress was great--friendly and attentive but definitely not annoying. She took Dan's cold Crab Cakes back with pleasure and made sure that they were to his liking the second time around.

Taste won't put a huge dent in your wallet. You'll get great value for a hip restaurant in a chic, young neighborhood. It's like finding a yummy and inexpensive spot in Soho or the West Village--you can't beat it. Appetizers range from $6-$12.50, entrees from $15.50-$25 and dessert $7.50-$12.50.

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