Wallflower is a beguiling, dinner-only Venice restaurant from Dustin Miles and chef Harrison Tobing that opened in fall 2015 and has kept a low profile. You won’t find a sign, and the only factor to signal your arrival at a restaurant is the front patio at night, which is when customers start to fill tables on the covered patio. Otherwise, Wallflower stands apart from other Rose Avenue restaurants and shops. Inside, the space shines more, with exposed wood rafters, marble topped tables, and colorful paintings. Still, the cooking from Tobing, who hails from Indonesia and cooked for four years in Dubai before relocating to L.A., is the main draw.
Wallflower’s marquee dessert is their English Date Cake ($10), which my server, Jimmy, called “the best dessert we’ve got.” I haven’t eaten all of their desserts, but certainly understand his enthusiasm. The rectangular cake with gooey center and satisfying outer crust reminded me of sticky toffee pudding and featured Medjool dates (“the king of dates”). Tobing incorporated two flavors of his youth: bananas and coffee. He plated the cake in a pool of sweet caramelized banana toffee sauce, topped the cake with brûléed banana slices, and sprinkled on Sumatran coffee grounds for the sake of texture and bitter balance.