Today is: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
O-Bar Restaurant Review
For over 6 years O-Bar Restaurant has enticed diners with the sophisticated culinary creations of owners and designers Thomas Schoos and Michael Berman and the welcoming atmosphere exuded by their restaurant and staff. The result is an experience that embodies the excitement and anticipation of an indulgent night
out while simultaneously being reminiscent of the relaxed comfort of home.
I love the décor, and the gorgeous fabric draped cabanas that dramatically frame the entrance, with serene garden patios anchoring the front and rear of the space. Their personalized style is truly one of a kind, with hand-crafted stone light fixtures gently descending from vaulted ceilings, set against curvaceously-accented wall treatments. The magical qualities extend into the bar area, topped with a dazzling crown of white cane, gently illuminated atop the bar, with quartz stone votives sprinkled throughout, eliciting the Schoos elements into a 'renewed lifestyle of dining in Los Angeles.
The design sensibilities of Berman and Schoos continue to attract a wide variety of clientele. Their touch is seen in the homes of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, Courtney Cox-Arquette, Laurence Fishburn, Kirstie Alley, Tommy Mattola, Ellen Degeneres, Nick Lechay and Jessica Simpson, Holly Hunter, and Ridley Scott.
Their unique fountain designs grace the retail outlets of Aveda, as well as the
interiors of the Overbrook Entertainment Offices at Universal Studios.
With their celebrity clientele in tow, the duo's future includes bringing
their design visions to the television screen, along with future
plans for restaurant growth and expansion.
Large Selection of red Wines
Operating under the label of Contemporary American, Chef Aaron Robins plays with a variety of culinary influences and flavor combinations with delightful abandon, creating dishes that are both whimsical and refined. Under a less skillful hand
this versatility could create a schizophrenic and disjointed dining experience,
yet Robins and his accomplished team manage to mold very disparate tastes,
culinary influences, and ingredients into complex and multilayered dishes.
The cocktails and wine list is as exhaustive as the dining menu is terse, featuring
a California-dominant selection, with even some wines from local vineyards. At
the bar we stopped for cocktails and I was surprised they had the famous
Brazilian drink: Caipirinha, also the Samurai Long Island Ice tea was
great, and the martinis were delicious as well.
Burrata with Herb-Balsamic
Our meal begins with a selection of the restaurant’s appetizers, which can be enjoyed either as palatable preludes to entrees or as a tapas-style meal. Each unique dish showcases the kitchen’s skillful repertoire. The appetizer special of the night was
the Tenderloin Tartar which arrives at the table as a precariously delicate small
tower, the thin slices of seared meat balancing each other and their weighty
delicious prepared marinated lemon sauce. The meat melts immediately in
our mouths, its flesh tingling with the smoky heat of sauce. It is a bold
starter, and a superb foreshadowing of what will follow.
The Burrata and Marinated tomatoes were also a great start, with a soft Italian Mozzarella atop Herb-Balsamic Tomatoes with Fresh Basil, Micro Arugula
and Balsamic Syrup. We loved the taste and freshness of this one.
The Mediterranean Plate are a more casual, but no less sophisticated appetizer.
Their own Hummus and cucumber-Dill Tatziki was deliciously prepared
and served with Pita Chips Warm Pita and Crisp Fresh Veggies.
Shrimp Martini with Vodka-Horseradish Sauce
Also a nice and light appetizer was the Shrimp Martini
with their special Vodka-Horseradish Cocktail Sauce; delicious and really
spice! Arriving in an elegant
martini glass, the lime juice with tidbits of succulent
shrimp is a refreshing
aperitif for the palate. Both exemplify the range of O-Bar’s menu: a display
of versatile epicurean personalities that are at once whimsical,
rich, light, and above all, eminently enjoyable.
Tempura Battered Calamari
Also 2 incredible appetizers that you can’t miss; are the Tempura Battered Calamari, and the Ahi Tuna Tartar. These were great dish for sharing. We got ½ portion it was enough to be shared by 4 or more guests. The Tempura batter was fried to perfection and the sweet-sour aioli sauce for dipping was truly amazing. And the Ahi Tuna Tartar Napoleons, was also to die for; they layer Crispy Wontons with Fresh Tuna tartar, cucumbers and crème fraiche, it was served with mixed greens, wonton chips and
a honey-soy vinaigrette sauce. One of the best tuna tartars we’ve tried! Although
both dishes prominently feature fresh seafood, each is interpreted differently
and is drastically transformed by their accompanying ingredients,
making every bite a delicious surprise.
Ahi Tuna Tartar Napoleons
The appetizers were extraordinary, each distinctive flavor dances on the tongue
before combining into a rich and deeply gratifying taste experience. Although the patties are thick and compact, they are immensely juicy, almost fluffy, and marry
well with the sauciness of cheese and truffle mayonnaise. These beefy little
morsels embody Terra’s culinary vision: the elevation of American
comfort food to the experimental heights of haute cuisine.
For entrees, there were amazing choices and it was really hard to decide, so
Chef Robins, sent us a variety of entrees that I honestly can’t tell you
which one were more magnificent, because this restaurant’s
food was absolutely a delightful surprise to our palate.
Filet Mignon Topped with Blue Cheese and Red Wine Reduction Sauce
The Filet Mignon, fit for a king filet served with horseradish arrives as a veritable culinary mise en scene, a landscape constructed from a sizzling slab of steak leaning against a foundation of Balsamic Roasted Cioppolini Onions, Sauteed Broccolini, topped with Blue Cheese and red wine reduction sauce A plucky green broccolini “tree” rises from the plate, casting its shadow across the steak. The taste is as
pleasing as the presentation. The juicy steak mingles with the sauce, creating
a refreshing brightness that offsets the heaviness of the meat. The
broccolini is a tasty alternative to a more traditional garnish,
permeating the dish with its pungent, crunchy seasonality.
Spicy Macademia Nut Sea Bass
The special of the night was the Spicy Macademia Nut Sea Bass, that was
also cooked to perfection and served on a bed of mashed potatoes. The
fish was perfectly delicious and fresh. What a great entrée if you
are a fish lover, I am and I loved this dish.
Aaron's Crispy Roasted Half Chicken
Another dish that was fantastic, was the Aaron's Crispy Roasted Half Chicken,
this one Chef Aaron surprised us, and told that we should not miss it. Yes, great choice, it was one of the best chicken we have tried. The meat was marinated
and then pan roasted to keep it juicy. Served with Yukon Gold Mashed
Potatoes, Shitake Mushrooms, Baby Carrots and a Marsala Pan Jus,
please, do not leave without trying this dish, it was worth it!
Pan Roasted Salmon
The Pan Roasted Salmon was divine as well. Light and Healthy. Fresh Salmon served with a Warm Salad of Cucumber, Roasted Red Pepper, Wilted Watercress and a Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce. I would say that the Salmon was also superb and so
tasty that I almost got one to go… This is the kind of food that you will never
imagine that a restaurant called O-Bar would serve. It was superb!
Short Ribs with Seasonal Vegetables and Braising Jus
And our last entrée was nothing but out of this world; The Short Ribs. The Old Favorite is Back. Slowly Simmered Short Ribs with Seasonal Vegetables and
Braising Jus, Served over Mashed Potatoes… you can’t go wrong with this
choice. It was so delicious that we almost fight for the last bite!
Great Selection of Sides Like Corn and Spinache
Although our meal has left us almost uncomfortably full, it is impossible to resist
O-Bar’s tantalizing desserts. We were going to order one, but Chef Robins surprised and insisted that we tried a variety of their specialties, well, how can we decline this kind request? The Thomas’ Decadent “O” Cookie is a Giant Chocolate Chip
Cookie Baked to Order and Served in an Iron Skillet Topped with Three
Scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate and Caramel Sauce;
playfully presented this was a deliciously rich, but not overly
sweet confection, a satisfying endnote to the meal.
Thomas’ Decadent “O” Cookie
Fall Apple Crisp
For those who crave a sweeter finale, the Fall Apple Crisp is the essence of apple pie. An inviting spiced Braeburn Apples and a Toasted Walnut Steusel served with White Cheddar Ice Cream… melting into each crevice as an added level of indulgence.
Rocky Road Ice Cream Pie
The Rocky Road Ice Cream Pie was also another example of how to be in heaven forever… the homemade Marshmallows, Toasted Walnuts and Chocolate Ice
Cream in a Dark Chocolate Cookie Crust, and Topped with Wet Walnuts and Chocolate Sauce makes you feel that you are truly in another dimension!
As we prepare to leave, warmed by a deep sense of satisfaction, I glance around
once more at this magnficent restaurant. O-Bar’s warmth comes as much from
the friendly, familiar atmosphere created by its staff as from its comforting
food. At a nearby table, Chef Robins, checks in on a couple,
chatting casually with them about their meals and their day.
Aaron Robbins (Exec. Chef)
Michael Berman (Owner)
The extra amount of care and attention lavished on diners by the amazing owner Michael Berman contributes to the experience, bringing fine dining to a comfortable and unpretentious level, and making O-Bar diners feel like members of a
close-knit community, united by love of food and good company.
Thank you Michael Berman for your kind invitation and
amazing hospitality, we had an incredible time!
For map and location click Here!
For more information please visit their website at obarrestaurant.com
Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Chris Marx
|© 2013-2015 Buzz of Los Angeles (All Rights Reserved)