Salute is that almost three year old small plate social space with an enomatic wine system, tucked off Main Street in Santa Monica. During the early days SIV gave the wine bar one star, suggesting that if the kitchen got on track, the restaurant would be perpetually packed. And guess what? It sounds like the kitchen might finally be more on track. As of two weeks ago, newcomer chef Ari Taymor has joined the eatery. He comes by way of Flour + Water and Bar Tartine, both respected eating establishments in San Francisco. Like many chefs around town, Taymor commits to locally sourcing the highest quality product and his plates are influenced by seasonality and the diversity that comprises LA. Management says, "we're not interested in just doing winebar food anymore--we have a young, highly motivated kitchen with the talent to take on all comers."
This right here is the redefined menu, made up of small and medium plates, still designed for sharing. It's refreshing to see riskier choices like seaweed beignets, smoked cauliflower soup with uni, and beets with bone marrow and horseradish grace the menu, although old standbys like mozz with basil and olive oil remain intact. Most plates cost under $20 and there's also the option to wild out with the seasonally changing five-course taster. [EaterWire]