Monday, February 16, 2015


Black Market Liquor Bar
11915 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Tel: 818.446.2533
$$ ($15-30)
Mon, 02/09/2015, 7:30pm reservation
    (3.5 Piglets)

Antonia Lofaso is from Top Chef Season 4 and the Executive chef for Black Market Liquor Bar and Scopa (which I will be reviewing in the future). Lofaso incorporates a bit of her Italian heritage into her cooking and menu. 

Black Market Liquor Bar has a cool, urban atmosphere. The menu changes daily and offers unique global cuisine that is comforting to the soul. Pastas are all handmade. The cocktails are crafted to sophistication. And, the best element about Black Market Liquor Bar is the variation. 

Americana Huckleberry ($4.00): Handcrafted soda pop. The soda was sweet, fizzy, with a relatively grape finish. 

BBQ Shortrib ($8.00): Raisin, fennel, arugula, confit tomato, brioche. The raisin offered sweetness that complemented the fennel and the peppery arugula well. The shortribs were gooey and messy, the way a sandwich should be. In general, a very good dish. 

Fried Cauliflower ($8.00): Lemon aioli. The aioli was nice and vibrant; however, the batter for the cauliflower reminded me of the batter for the KFC Original Recipe (which I'm not a fan of). 

Pappardelle ($13.00): Zucchini, ricotta, basil, parmigiano-reggiano. The pappardelle had a great texture and was perfectly cooked. The pasta dish was very light although I felt it was a little bland and under seasoned. 

Dill Potato Chips ($6.00):My favorite dish. Sea salt, malt vinegar aioli. Who would've thought chips could taste so good? The crispy flakes of potatoes are enhanced with dill to accompany the very delicious malt vinegar aioli. Together, the chips and dip are rich with depth that normally would be lacking if the chips were presented on its own. A great dish!

Deep Fried Fluffer-Nutter ($10.00) with House-made Nutella Ice Cream ($4.00): Peanut butter marshmallow, fresh bananas. The fluffer-nutter is coated with what seems to be panko breadcrumbs and deep fried. Although the dessert was crispy, the peanut butter marshmallow did not really come through in terms of flavor. The fluffer-nutter left me feeling a bit heavy. The nutella ice cream had a great texture and went well with the fluffer-nutter, but again, I could not really taste the chocolate hazelnut in the ice cream. 

Overall, Black Market Liquor Bar offers unique textures and brings comfort food to the Valley. Although many of the dishes lacked a cohesion in flavors, the Top Chef attempts to take a risk and think outside of the box (which I admire). The ambiance is great and gives you a sense of seclusion from the outside world. 

Notable dishes: Dill Potato Chips


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