It's been a long time anticipating a new restaurant by Michael Cardenas, but he finally resurfaced with something not just expectedly great, but something so unique, extremely thought out, and a concept that's excitingly fresh to the way we dine out.
disclaimer: I'm getting used to a new camera I just got so please excuse the lack of clarity in some photos.
1838 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA.
Be ready for a surprise as you find the Palm Spring essence on the exterior of the restaurant.
As you walk in you will be immediately hit with a 1960's Mad Men era. There's an array of beautiful colors plotted all around the restaurant. From different figurines on the shelves to different colored furniture. Each with it's on personality and funk to contribute to this space.
There's also a cozy fire pit outside for you to enjoy during a warm summer night or a chilly winter hibernation that screams for a good ole old fashioned (or two).
Their cocktails are no joke. Through a lot of crafting and testing before the grand opening, the full menu for Mister O's will not fall short from your expectations. The 2 you see above is Trade Secret and the Maize runner. Not shown is the old fashioned. All great contenders for an evening of debauchery.
Marinated olives are a must order even if you hate olives. John hate olives and almost everything, but he loved these. The olives are not briny or salty so it becomes a great snack without the guilt. When I have a few drinks I tend to feel bloated the next day from all the salty foods I consume so this is delightful to have.
Fierce avocado. This is basically a guac topped with salt cod served with seeded cracker. The salt cod mixed with the avocado gave a feeling of ceviche. It was fresh and a great dish for the season.
Clams with anaheim chili, dill butter, pernod, and bacalao broth. This had so many flavors, but never have I tasted something like this especially with clams. It was really good and wished I had some bread to soak up that delicious broth!
Cauliflower with smoked raisins, mustard frill, sunflower, and seed puree. If you love cauliflower, you will love this. John's normally not a huge fan of cauliflower, but he really liked this as well. Another thing you should know is they are really prized in their vegetable dishes. I like the idea of a restaurant doing more with vegetables. Not just by giving more options on the menu, but making them sexy which a lot of places fail at.
Shigoku oysters with blistered shishito, burnt chili negro, dill dashi mignonette. Citrus, sweet, and a little kick to make this a one bite wonder. Don't forget to squeeze the caramelized onion.
Can Can. This isn't officially on the menu because it's limited. If you've watched my Instagram stories lately you will know that I've been eating pork belly almost every day. This pork can can has the belly connected to the tissue. Imagine that and being cooked slowly until tender... then deep frying it till crispy? topped with a sweet and sour relish with savory beans. I forgot to ask, but this almost felt like a cuban fusion. A must order.
Sea Bass with chanterelles, corn, spigarello, and lemon verbena. A delicate fish with different supporting roles. The chanterelles were meaty and tart mixed with the sweetness of the corns really added flavor to the delicate fish. The skin was crispy all the way through, very impressive.
Tootsie roll. A luxorious fudge bar topped with hazelnuts, figs, and a sea salt cream.
Panna cotta with guava puree. Ok I don't remember the exact name of this, but it's all of that. That's a cake on top of the guava puree topped with whipped cream. Very delicious! The guava speaks volume and does not lack and flavor.
Don't worry, John and I pretty much cleaned our plates. Ended the night with 2 hot coffees for the ride back to SGV.
I wished it was closer to me, but I would say it's worth the trip. The food, the service, and the ambiance are definitely worth dressing up for. Now... need to find out if I can smoke a cigar in the patio. You will see me very soon Mister O's!