TIPPLE & BRINE
LEADING VALLEY FAVE GETS UPDATED
It’s no secret that we were highly impressed when Tipple & Brine first shuttered its doors along Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks (see our initial review here). The food was daring and the drinks were bold; great stuff, especially for the valley. Now new Executive Chef Marc Johnson has upped the ante even further.
Fear not, Tipple & Brine remains fixated as a hot spot for fresh, sustainable, top-quality seafood. In fact, Chef Johnson will feature even more seafood forward contemporary cuisine. While you can still get the highly popular Oyster Luge, Tipple & Brine also boasts a walk-up oyster bar while serving briny Oysters on the Half Shell, flanked by a trio of Oyster Shooters.
“Our new menu is truly a step forward for the brand,” says Tipple & Brine Principal, Richard DiSisto. “Not only is it all encompassing, offering something for everyone, but it ties in nicely with Tipple & Brine’s style.”
“When it comes to seafood, we only cook what is sustainable,” Chef Johnson explains. “We do not touch the Seafood Watchlist.”
During our recent visit for dinner, we started with a selection of fresh and delicious oysters. Thrown in for good measure and for our sheer enjoyment, we enjoyed the ever popular Oyster Luge (start with a fresh oyster, get a shot of Scotch and then do the following: Step 1—take a wee sip of the oyster brine; Step 2—take a wee sip of the Scotch; Step 3—eat the oyster; then Step 4—Luge, which means pouring some of the scotch into the shell and shooting peaty juice), and fiery and boozy oyster shooters.
Speaking of boozy, some of the house-made cocktails we imbibed included the 7 Years at Sea with Flor de Caña Gold Rum, lime, ginger, honey, bitters and Plantation Overproof rum float. This is a nice cocktail to start your night. Likewise, the Gold Rush with Old Forrester Bourbon, honey and lemon is an easy-going drink for bourbon fans.
The Mexican Firing Squad with Olmeca Altos Tequila, lime, house-made grenadine, bitters is spicy fun. This drink comes with a kick so watch out! In the same fashion, the Scottish Opera with Famous Grouse Scotch, Montenegro, Aperol, Meletti and lemon twist is a potent concoction. These are good, stiff drinks. But plan your drinking game accordingly since Tunnel Bar is just upstairs and you will definitely want to get a couple of drinks there.
For our starters, we went with the delightful Brussels Sprouts roasted with bacon, brown sugar and Sambal, along with the flavorful Shishito Peppers sautéed with baby corn, grapes, goat cheese, pistachios and mint. These are both great sharable dishes.
Looking for some more greens, the Fig Salad hit the spot offering earthy flavors of prosciutto, black pepper ricotta, radishes, juicy oranges and basil.
There are eight dishes in the Shares section. These aren’t quite entrée size but they’re great for sharing. The Charred Octopus was delicious and served with ripe nectarines, cherry tomatoes and a light and crunchy almond frisée drizzled with saba.
We were also highly satisfied with the Steamed Clams, whichcame with chorizo, escarole and white beans all stirred up in a flavorful white wine stew dusted with fennel pollen and also served with toast.
For our main selection, I can never pass up Sea Bass and this pan roasted gemwas paired with snap peas, green beans, pear tomatoes and prosciutto with a grapefruit gastrique. This was a solid fish dish.
Meat lovers will like the Flat Iron Steak, whichis accompanied by bone marrow, asparagus, crispy onions, chervil and a uni Hollandaise, adding a touch of seafood influence and a dynamic layer of flavor to the classic sauce.
If you save room for dessert at Tipple & Brine, there are three items to choose from, including a fluffy sponge Carrot Caketopped with cream cheese frosting, butterscotch and pecans named Best Slice Of Carrot Cake 2015 by Los Angeles Magazine. There is also a decadent Chocolate Cremeauxand a savory Cheese Platefeaturing three cheeses, fresh baguette and jams.
Between Tipple & Brine and Tunnel Bar, there really is a reason to trek out to the valley for a good time. I’ll drink to that.
Tipple & Brine is located at 14633 Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. Open for Dinner Monday through Thursday from 5pm to 10:30pm; Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 11pm and on Sunday from 5pm to 10pm. Tipple & Brine is also open for Social Hour Tuesday through Friday from 5pm to 7pm and Oyster Monday from 5pm to 10:30pm. For reservations call 818-528-2550.
Story by Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy of: Tipple & Brine