This week, Besha Rodell explores Eric Greenspan's new restaurant Maré, which is tucked away behind Greenspan's Grilled Cheese on Melrose. The restaurant marked by "its twinkling lights and its clever speakeasy construct" plays by its own rules, with unnamed wines, a foosball table, and a tiny menu that actually requires explanation:
There is a sparse handful of starters and smaller veggie plates, two entrees, and a mix-and-match portion of the menu titled "shellfish." In the case of the latter, you choose from clams, shrimp or mussels, and from a variety of sauces.
[...] And then comes the shellfish, which works best as a mid-course and is the dish seen on almost every table. It's as if Greenspan has invented his own version of tapas, a vaguely Mediterranean version in which the centerpiece is that seafood combo. No matter what you order from the shellfish section, it will come with a bowl of spaghettilike pasta and a funny little wooden pedestal holding a soft-cooked egg. I believe you are meant to eat the shellfish out of the sauce, then crack the egg into the pasta with the leftover sauce and have a pasta course. Or maybe you mix the egg into the pasta, serve it to yourself, then spoon your shellfish of choice over the top. This ritual isn't really covered in the explain-the-menu speech, but you'll figure it out. [LAW]
Ultimately, the LA Weekly critic doesn't have much luck with the inconsistent shellfish dishes, but is charmed by the personal nature of Greenspan's restaurant nonetheless. Maré scores two stars.