Nook Bistro has managed to build buzz in Plaza West's back corner.
This dimly lit Nook Bistro is tucked away in the back corner of a strip mall, behind a blinds store. Thankfully, the gigantic blue arrow points prospective diners in the right direction. Chef James Richardson, previously of legendary Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, partnered with Jeffrey Stuppler and Brian Frith-Smith in fall 2004. The menu might not vary enough between visits, but at least the food is consistently delicious.
Each meal begins with complimentary boiled peanuts. Homesick Southerners, rejoice. This version was impressive, not mushy at all, and not oversalted.
My friend John and I both stayed Southern with a shrimp and grits entrée. This was hardly a traditional rendition, but delicious, featuring Falls Mill stone-ground grits topped with spicy linguisa sausage cuts in red pepper sauce bath.
Lentil soup with feta and lemon mint relish didn’t naturally partner with shrimp and grits, but for only $3, it was a bargain addition I couldn’t resist. The soup was hearty, with nice spices, and tangy feta.
The meal’s success carried over to dessert in a big way. Warm chocolate and banana bread pudding featured walnuts, caramel sauce, and a greatTahitian vanilla bean gelato scoop. Amazingly, the combination wasn’t cloying or too heavy.
My mixed berry crumble also hosted vanilla gelato. Berries were blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, all plump and flavorful. The delicious crumble almost tasted like warm cookie dough.
Nook Bistro stands out for two reasons: serving strong Southern food in Los Angeles and for building an audience in such an unlikely location. West L.A. is lucky to have this notable neighborhood restaurant.
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