S. Irene Virbila hits us with it right off the bat: Glendale's Palate Food + Wine is "the most exciting and delicious new restaurant to open in a very long time." She's crazy for Octavio Becerra, a seasoned Patina alum with a great chef tattoo who broke away from the pack. And considering how Miss Irene's felt about Joachim Splichal's more recent restaurants (*cough* Paperfish), that's probably a good thing.
This is the breakout restaurant for Octavio Becerra, who put in years with Patina Restaurant Group and was the original chef at Pinot Bistro in Studio City. But his cooking at Palate is nothing like the saucy Joachim Splichal style.The menu is short, sweet, seasonal, priced right, with a great wine list to match (she doesn't even mention corkage for bringing your own, her party's MO, but instead fo buying in the adjacent wine shop). "For food and wine lovers," she says, "Glendale just became a destination." Palate gets a solid three stars. Today the "S." stands for "shoo-in." [LAT]
At this casual California-Mediterranean bistro and wine bar, it's fresh and direct, polished but not showy, food that anyone can understand, food that celebrates California's great bounty of local ingredients. The lamb's from Sonoma, the lettuces are from Coleman Farms in Carpinteria -- and the butter is made in-house.
ELSEWHERE: Linda Burum explores Golden Villa in Cambodia Town in Long Beach; LAist says farewell to the Double Dutch in Culver City and goes to Fab's for the Reseda Ripper; LA.com coos over Wilshire; Patotamato loves Kitchen 24, and enjoys but isn't blown away by Tre Venezie in Pasadena; and Pleasure Palate goes to Azeen's Afghan Cuisine on the other side of Old Town; Diglounge finds Grub as loud and sassy as its owner, Top Cheffer Betty Fraser.