Sunday, October 18, 2009

Eva's Bringing Back the Neighborhood

This past Sunday, we decided to give Eva’s "Sunday Dinner Party" a go. Mark Gold opened Eva four weeks ago, taking over the Hatfield’s location on Beverly. The setting is perfect for his new restaurant concept (comfortable, neighborhood restaurant) since the place is set up like a cozy home. On Sundays, it truly is like an invitation to a friends house for dinner, all you do is eat and enjoy, not worrying about what to order because everything is planned out for you. Oh, and just FYI, meals Tuesday-Saturday are served a-la-carte at extremely affordable prices. Sunday is the only "dinner party" day.

We showed up for our 2:00 reservation (I guess you would call this a lunch party, then?) and realized that we were the only ones there! Mark Gold greeted us and explained that we were his first 2:00 Sunday reservation. The Sunday Dinners have become very popular, but people tend to come in starting around 4:30, because well that's when dinner is usually served. He told us to pick whatever table we wanted and promised to get the white wine chilling while he poured us a glass of Hey Mambo red, in the mean time.

We ended up being the only patrons in the restaurant during our feast, so Mark sat with us for the majority of the meal. We picked his brain on restaurants he liked in Los Angeles, food trends, and the operations behind his restaurant. All the while, he kept feeding us seconds of dishes that we loved, refilling our wine glasses, and asking for our opinion of the food.

Here’s what our Sunday menu consisted of (all for $35 per person):

Potato Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Shallots
We swallowed down the first bowl so fast, Mark came by with seconds. Embarrassing? Meh, it was so tasty, we didn’t care. The potatoes were sweet, the mushrooms were fresh and meaty, and the shallots were buttery with a slight crisp around the edges. The chefs also mixed in some chopped up chives and parsley and some top quality parmesan cheese.

Steamed Littleneck Clams with Herbs and Shallots Served with Garlic Parmesan Bread
The clams were fresh and delicious, lacking even the faintest must of fishiness. All of the shells had opened beautifully, allowing them to be dressed in slivered garlic and herbs. The broth at the bottom was thick and creamy; it made a perfect companion for the homemade garlic bread. Mark gave us the rundown of the garlic bread: Breadbar baguette, rubbed with garlic, smeared with butter, topped with top quality parmesan and a good helping of parsley. The bread was served warm and was the perfect utensil for soaking up sauces.

Chicken Puttanesca
Generous pieces of crispy, breaded chicken topped with a light and salty mixture of tomatoes, capers, olives and garlic. It was the perfect dose of comfort food on a lazy afternoon.

Real Spaghetti Bolognese
The meat sauce was a hand ground mix of beef, pork, and veal, and Mark explained that they soaked the mixture in milk to give soften it and give it a noticeable creaminess. The bolognese offered a nice texture and flavor balance to the al dente spaghetti.

Polenta Almond Cake
The cake was served warm with a dollop of tangy crème fraiche that accentuated its flavors. The dessert was laced with lots of lemon zest that gave it a citrus twist and helped to maintain a ridiculous amount of moisture inside. Two beautiful figs were served on the side to compliment the already refreshing dessert.

Finishing our meal with a glass of the Hey Mambo white wine, we discussed how Eva's "Sunday Dinner Party" hit all the right notes for us. Cozy atmosphere, outstanding customer service, high quality food, and a price that will have us coming back as much as possible.

7458 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles 90036

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