Sunday, December 20, 2015

MARE (LOS ANGELES, CA)

Mare
7465 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(Entrance at Greenspan's Grilled Cheese)
www.maremelrose.com
Tel: 323.592.3226
$$ ($15-$30)
Cuisine: Seafood
Fri, 12/04/2015, 8:30pm Walk-in
    (3.5 Piglets)



Mare is a fairly new restaurant by chef Eric Greenspan. Set in the back of his already situated restaurant Greenspan's Grilled Cheese, Mare exonerates romanticism and warmth throughout the patio restaurant.

To actually enter the restaurant, you have to pass through the dishwashers and kitchen of Greenspan's Grilled Cheese. A hostess will greet you once you open their doors. A straight up patio with no real roof, only what seems to be a retractable one. No reservations can be made with a party of less than 6, so during a weekend, it can get pretty crowded.

Part of the Interior

The menu is specifically focused on seafood, which includes clams, mussels and shrimp. Broths for the dishes are accompanied by pasta and a poached egg. There is a whole branzino on the menu for $18, which is quite a steal for sharing amongst two people. The bread they bring out is delicious, crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, almost resembling an everything bagel. It comes with a few spreads that complement the bread nicely.

MY FAVORITE DISH. SKIRT STEAK ($18.00): Oregano Chimichurri and Sea Urchin Butter. I really thought for a skirt steak, this was reasonably priced. The sea urchin butter was super creamy and delicious. I loved the oregano chimichurri, which added a depth of flavor that you can't get with butter. The steak was cooked well (medium-rare like we asked). You do have to specify how you want your steak cooked cause they probably won't ask you. It definitely was my favorite dish of the night and a good appetizer to share. 
CHOOSE YOUR SHELLFISH: CLAMS; CHOOSE YOUR BROTH: SPICY SAUSAGE ROMESCO ($17.00): For $17, this is a steal. They provide a fair amount of clams for the reasonable price. The dish comes with spaghetti and a poached egg to thicken the broth. Unfortunately, for me, the flavors didn't have much depth nor did the broth thicken with the egg. I was a bit disappointed. Maybe the other broths would have been a better choice. After finishing my clams, I ate the broth and the spaghetti like a bowl of ramen noodle soup. 
The spaghetti noodles that are provided with the shellfish dish. You can ask for more noodles if you run out. 
CHOCOLATE CHILI CREPE ($9.00): with Nutella and Coffee Whipped Cream. I absolutely hated this dessert. It was my friend's birthday (hence the candle) and the crepe tasted burnt. The coffee whipped cream was pretty nice but it didn't salvage the burnt and dry crepe. Wouldn't order this again. 
Overall, Mare is decent and the prices are reasonable. I like the concept but I feel some dishes need to be executed better. We were given the egg and spaghetti to our table and weren't told what to really do with it. I wish the broths had a deeper level of flavor but then again, there are many other broths to choose from. It can get chilly outside and they do provide heat lamps, but I would suggest you calling the restaurant to see if they're open on a rainy day. 

Notable dishes: Skirt Steak

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