Four of us went to this small restaurant located in a Japanese area of Sawtelle. It appears to be a fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisine, focusing on seafood pasta dishes. The tables are very small and we did feel “boxed in” throughout the meal. The wine list is very small (maybe 4 reds and 4 whites). I had a single glass of Cotes du Rhone and it was just tolerable, having been in a re-corked wine bottle for who knows how long. I never seem to learn not to order single glasses of red wine! Another criticism I have is the size of the pour – really tiny, less than a third of the wine glass.
Service was fine with friendly staff and quick service, along with recommendations. We decided on the special Abalone Cups as a starter; they were innovative, very tasty and beautifully presented. We also had a large smoked Chicken Salad which was quite good, with chunks of moist chicken, walnuts and sesame dressing. Another “side” which we ordered was an eggplant dish; we devoured it so quickly that I truly forget the other ingredients (it was superb).
On to the mains: two of us ordered Shrimp Mousse Ravioli, one had Clams Vongole (I think they meant to write Pasta Vongole on the menu), and the last diner had Uni Pasta. The Ravioli were outstanding, with a delicate shrimp mousse filling, wonderful Shitake mushrooms and a sauce that we finished by dipping our bread in it; that must give you an idea of how good the velvety sauce was. I can only describe it as a sort of Sauce Nantua, although I don’t think there were crayfish involved in its preparation. The Pasta Vongole was very good, and each of us had to try one of the clams – they were truly the best clams of any pasta dish I’ve had in L.A. – very very fresh, meaty, and flavor kissed by the sea. The Uni Pasta was also good with its sea urchin base, a very high #3 among the 3 pasta selections we had ordered.
For dessert we shared the house made Apple Tarte. We could have been in Paris, as evidenced by the taste of the buttery and flaky crust, along with tart apples cut very thinly. The Tarte was gone in a flash.
A nice find if you are in the area. I always like a place that has a limited menu, but which does each item really well. Parking is available in a tiny lot just around the northern corner from the restaurant.