Thursday

MURANO
9010 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310) 246-9118


Magnifico!

The legions of Café Figaro fans will be overwhelmed at the high drama and stunningly beautiful environs that now calls itself Murano, and with good cause. From the moment you enter the clean, white establishment, you’re immediately greeted by two magnificent Murano glass chandeliers, all in black and custom made for the space to incorporate one tier of nearly twenty arms. Flanked by two enormous mirrors on either end of the main room, there are thirty other gorgeous Murano chandeliers throughout the restaurant, many in vibrant reds and setting the owners back more than $250,000 all in the name of authenticity.

Robin Ganz and Sandy Sachs (of Girl Bar and Dinah Shore Week fame) have partnered with our old friend Jeffrey Sanker (of Palm Springs White Party fame) to create a significant and noteworthy addition to the restaurant scene. Beyond the expected backdrop of beautiful men and women, they combined their respective efforts to bring in Kristi Ritchey, formerly with the Patina Group, to jazz the menu with as much panache and fan fare as the remarkable chandeliers.

Going beyond the Philippe Starck look with bed sheet comfort, the beautiful hardwood floors immediately add warmth, as do the extremely comfortable soft, white leather seats that beckon you to spend some time and enjoy the food, as well as the surroundings. We were impressed with the table settings themselves, consisting of neat and aesthetically pleasing dishes, as well as cutlery with a distinctive flare. White tablecloths adorn the tables, and although the restaurant was filled with life and laughter, it was not noisy and obtrusive, allowing you to talk intimately to your partner across from you, or amongst a table of friends.

It’s always impressive to The Dining Duo when a new eatery brings together all of the right essentials and elements to burst onto the scene and all at once be the place at which to be, eat, and socialize; this is indeed that place. The food was delicious, and it simply is difficult to point out some of our favorites, as many of the choices were noteworthy. The panzella salad with tomatoes, fresh burrata cheese, polenta crisps, and olive vinaigrette was particularly interesting to the palate, and definitely something we’d recommend ($14). The appetizers were plentiful and interesting conglomerations of food elements as well. Staying with the Italian theme, Kristi creates a taste of Italy with bruschetta, olive tapinade, roasted red pepper mousse, eggplant caviar, oven-roasted tomatoes, baby artichokes, and fresh mozzarella served with crustini ($14). It was divine, and we felt as if we were walking down the streets of Venezia and into a fabulous Italian restaurant. Michael also enjoyed the prosciutto di Parma wrapped phyllo grissini with fig marmalade, a balsamic reduction, and micro arugula ($14), that was such an interesting combination of flavors that he simply couldn’t put it down. Scott had to take a nibble and agreed whole-heartedly.

With six different pasta variations, we found the best to be the sweet corn agnolotti, which came accompanied with crisp pancetta, a port wine reduction, and shaved Parmesan cheese ($17). Again, the extraordinary amalgamation of tastes was ethereal, and The Dining Duo devoured it amongst the assortment of fabulous chandeliers, fabulous interiors, and fabulous-looking people. As if the latter was not enough to satiate the senses, one of the many entrées will fill the bill. Although the Atlantic salmon was not wild, the dish was accompanied by sautéed white asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and shaved green asparagus salad ($23). The salmon was cooked properly with a slight medium-rare center, and the white asparagus was particularly fresh and tasty. On another visit, we enjoyed the seafood risotto with scallops, jumbo prawn, whitefish, and lobster reduction ($27), which had just the correct proportion of each to make it a grouping of tastes without losing each individual flavor of the particular seafood item.

Brunch at Murano is darn tasty too. Not only is it served until late (who in the world likes to get up early on a Sunday just to rush to brunch?), but additionally the baked apple pancake with cinnamon sugar, vanilla crème fraîche, candied walnuts, and then doused in maple syrup ($12) was “Sweet Tooth Scott’s” absolute favorite brunch item in a long, long time. Although The Duo usually prefers its pancakes pure, this creative combination of flavors was a sure winner. The brioche French toast with fresh berries and raspberry sauce ($13) was also astonishing. If you’re not into eggs and breakfast favorites, there are also a large variety of salads and entrées, including croque monsieurs and margarita pizzas that will be sure to satisfy.

As if this wasn’t enough to send you into a diabetic coma, make sure to try the desserts, especially the Meyer lemon pudding with citrus sauce ($8), which was tasty, fresh, and had just the right amount of zing. The granny smith apple tartlet accompanied by marscapone gelato, caramel sauce, and walnut brittle ($9) was also a definite hit.

Speaking of definite hits, make sure to hit up Murano before it becomes so incredibly popular you won’t be able to get in the door. After all we ate, The Dining Duo gained a few hundred pounds and also can’t get in that very same door.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 9:29 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

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