Saturday, April 17, 2010

Palate Food & Wine





Better late than never.
Palate Food & Wine has been on my radar for years. But being a little fearful of Glendale after the belly dancing episode at Carousel Restaurant (Disneyland of Lebanese food) has turned me into a dark voyeur, reduced to enjoying the experience through other bloggers posts. However, my Peeping Tom days are over! I was agog over the much anticipated tapa meal that was about to come.


The corn colored walls and large glass windows immediately shows the emphasis on ambient lighting. Although not as posh as the finer LA restaurants, this is one of the few venues where I feel completely relaxed and at home. The color scheme and decor is reminiscent of a warm spring day with flowers in bloom and a soft gentle breeze. The enormous flask filled with astronomic grapes adds a whimsical note to the rustic ambiance.
                                 

Mason Jar, Potted Berkshire Pork - Frankly, this is my first experience with rilletes (meat cured, salted and cooked in its own fat until tender, p√Ęte-like) and I'm not expecting anything spectacular. Come on.. Take a look at that dry, canned-tuna like appearance. But it lies. Dry it is not. Bland it is not. The texture and consistency is almost like eating unctuous pork fat but without the heavy, lard like taste. Pork fat without fat, if there is such a thing.


Ricotta Gnocchi, chicken hearts and pecorino - The chewy gristle of the chicken heart contrasts nicely with the fluffy pillows of gnocchi. Being an avid gizzard fan, this dish is definitely up my alley.


Pork Belly, fennel + orange salad, crispy potato, pistachio aillade - The omnipresent pork belly is almost a staple it seems, in most contemporary restaurants nowadays. However, because of this situation there's more to compare. I'm not going to be happy with just any slab of pork. I want mine with the perfect ratio of fat to meat and seared to a nice caramelized brown. And this one doesn't suck. The pistachio aillade kicks it up a few notches, or it would have been rather pedestrian.

As the day recedes with the ambient light, night begins to fall and my photos are gradually reduced to muted tones of reds and oranges.

Diver Scallops, bacon and pickled carrots - Now I've seen some beautiful presentations in my life, but this strays from your typical arrangement of ingredients. It's not striving for decadence and impeccable placement of minuscule vegetables, but alludes an earth-y quality of autumn leaves and wildflowers.

Although there have been mixed reviews of PF&W, I've concluded that this is a place of comfort and good food, where I will visit often and attempt to try all their mason jars and cornucopia of cheeses. One suggestion: bring a dining companion whom you won't fall asleep on and make sure you like that person, because everything moves a bit slower here and by the time each dish comes out, you would have already learned her aunt's life story.


933 South Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91204-2107
(818) 662-9463

3 comments:

  1. Nice! you went when sun's out! my last trip during DineLA yielded nothing but dark pix that's not worth editing. Still like this place despite the slow service. And that butter? Still homely, and still lickable all by itself.

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  2. I cheated =). I went in knowing about their huge windows and perfect lighting for photographs, but not knowing that the meal would stretch into the night.

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  3. Hey can you email me? kevin AT kevineats.com. I'd like to talk to you about something.

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