Vinoteque recently resurfaced next to The Foundry on Melrose, in Café Luna’s former home. Gil Ran is the last man standing from the original Culver City partnership. Adam Fleischman (Umami Burger) and Alex Shteyman are no longer involved.
Executive chef Joshua Smookler spent some time in the kitchen at The French Laundry, and he’ll continue to build on Ran’s interest in wine and “European size plates.” Options include Lamb Meatballs ($9) stuffed with goat cheese, tomatoes and mint; Bone Marrow Crostini ($12) with oxtail jam; and Diver Scallops ($14) with creamed leeks, tater tots and gastrique. If you’re looking for something more substantial, consider Skate ($17) with mussel pesto; Duck Breast ($17) with sweet corn, pea shoots and pomegranate; and Pork Tenderloin ($19) with rutabaga, pickled Asian pear and mustard. Seasonal desserts include Thyme Roasted Peaches ($10) with pecan crunch and olive oil ice cream.
The publicist described a spacious backyard with plentiful seating for weekend wine tastings and cigar smoking. To start, action’s limited to night, but Vinoteque will eventually open for weekday breakfast and lunch.