Sometimes a restaurant doesn’t fit a location, but does that mean the location is busted? Not necessarily. Even if the food was good at Il Carpaccio, locals clearly weren’t willing to spend $80 per person to eat at a strip mall, especially when there were more glamorous Italian options down the hill in Santa Monica. As a result, in February, Morten Kaag and John Halter stepped in and doubled up on Taste, their WeHo comfort food concept. Based on the steady stream of families we saw on a recent Sunday, and considering the hearty portions and relatively reasonable prices, it looks like Kaag and Halter may have found the right fit in a Palisades Palisades strip mall.
Taste starts every meal with a basket of La Brea Bakery bread and a dish of hummus, stained green with cilantro, olive oil and garlic.
Executive Chef Brian Sheard, a Palisades native, delivers dishes like the Prosciutto & Fig Pizzetta ($10.75) slathered with black Mission fig jam, Gorgonzola and scallions.
Macaroni and cheese ($8.50) combines shell pasta, cremini mushrooms and a pungent drizzle of white truffle oil.
Every day, Taste offers different ravioli. On March 22, that meant pasta stuffed with a puree of pumpkin and sweet potato, served over a tangy bed of red chard and showered with pine nuts.
Grilled Prime flat iron steak ($26) comes with two panko-crusted potato croquettes, smoky asparagus spears and a small ramekin of Madeira wine sauce containing cremini mushrooms and caramelized shallots.
Taste’s signature dessert features a warm square of chocolate brioche bread pudding topped with vanilla gelato and mint.
On Mondays, Taste offers Wine Discovery Tuesdays, with a 50% discount on each bottle of wine. Every full moon, the day before and the day after, Taste hosts Aphrodisiac Nights, providing a special menu designed to “stimulate the senses.”