Thursday, July 29, 2010

Los Angeles - A.O.C Wine Bar

If I told you tapas, what would you immediately think of?

Spanish? Chorizo? Sangria's and little nibbles I imagine?

What if I told you French tapas? Would you scratch your head and be a little confounded?

Well on my (almost) last night in Los Angeles that's exactly what I had.

And to add a further interesting twist to the whole affair, I didn't even realise, but it was Bastille day! Hoorah!

From outside, A.O.C is a simple, minimalist building, so simple our driver went straight past it initially. However, once endeavoring inside, although still retaining a slick, modern and oh-so-chic appearance, the dark woods, spacious ceilings, neatly arranged tables draped in white tablecloth and soft ambient light, created a warmth. Heightened by the lively hostesses, dressed for the affair of the day in chic top hats, accordian players and a very good looking LA crowd. In hindsight, I'm quite surprised I managed to get a booking, especially since I just called on the day.

We started by getting a cheese to go with a merlot picked out from the wine menu, we told our waitress to surprise us with a hard cheese and it was quite lovely. Sweet and fairly mild, I only wish I had asked what it was!

Since it was Bastille day we had the option of ordering from a special set menu for the day, or of course just ordering from the ala carte menu. David and his friend decided to both get the Bastille day menu, and Daniel and I picked a couple of extra dishes to add some variety to the mix.

The appetizer from the Bastille day menu was a beautiful roasted vegetable and goat cheese tartin. Soft, luscious and made incredulously rich by the goat cheese. It was just as well we got two of them, since they were demolished pretty efficiently.

'From the wood burning oven' (quoted from the menu) we got clams with sherry and a curried cauliflower. The stock with the clams was just divine, though I might have enjoyed it if the cauliflower was a little softer.

Pork cheek, I can't remember what with, or cooked how, I suppose though, whilst I did like the dish a lot, my previous experiences with beef cheek are a lot more memorable as beef cheek is generally incredibly tender and just melts away in your mouth. I found that the pork cheek did not quite have the same texture, although it was almost there...

A lovely grilled chicken, what more can I say?

One of the main options from the Bastille day menu, some succulent wagyu beef with a side of perfectly crisp fries, I loved the nonchalant presentation in the paper bag. The chips themselves were really quite excellent, I always tend to try to avoid eating too many chips whenever I go out, as I like to fill up on y'know, my actual meal, but when the chips are this good it's kind of hard to resist!

The other main was a seafood bouillabaisse, which I forgot to take a picture of, but was filled with a great assortment of seafood, although I suppose I am a bit spoilt being from Australia, I was wincing slightly at the somewhat small mussels...

To finish the night, we got two plates of these beautiful, essentially, sugar doughnuts from the Bastille day menu. Mmm, they were light and fluffy, dusted perfectly and evenly and absolutely to die for with the rich chocolate sauce. Even though I shouldn't have eaten much, I could not restrain my fingers from reaching out for more, they were the epitome of finger-licking-good!

All in all, I really enjoyed my A.O.C experience, good food, maybe sightly snooty waitresses, it took us a while to get our drinks initially, but once we ordered, the food came out fairly quickly.

A.O.C Wine Bar
Mid-City West
8022 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA

A.O.C. on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Hey,

    Nice review of A.O.C.! After reading your review, I'm thinking you could actually win an award for it. Yes, seriously ^_~ . There's a new award for the best reviews online being presented by (a site where people can share reviews on any topic). Lunch is recognizing the best reviews across a plethora of topics, and your restaurant reviews are fantastic -- I think you stand a great shot of getting nominated and winning a "Golden Thumb" trophy! I work for Lunch, searching for the best reviews and reviewers online, so when I came across yours, it was a great fit.

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    Good Luck!
    Tu Nguyen