Passionate and Sexy Flavors in Westwood at the Palomino
10877 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

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The subtle flavors of Seattle are well represented at the Palomino Euro Bistro in Westwood, which is not just a trendy overpriced restaurant with pretensions, but yet another real gem for our readers to check out. We are not in the habit of recommending restaurants for the sake of it, but can vouch strongly for this one. Executive chef David Shaw is continually tampering with the menu to come up with something new, which is good news for the punters if not the kitchen brigade. In his own words David explained to me - "Our food at Palomino is passionate and sexy. We exploit the many facets of natural ingredients, combine seasonal products with traditional imports like Italian salami and sausages, Moroccan Olives, Greek Feta or Serrano ham, and seal the natural taste of fish by searing it in the 600 degree wood oven or roast meats in the wood-fired spit-roaster."

The spacious and comfortable restaurant has been open about a year and features floor to ceiling windows, hand-blown glass chandeliers and paintings by late Seattle artist Ambrose Patterson. What gives the food it's special is the fact that much of it is cooked in wood burning ovens, and that fact combined with the freshness of the ingredients does give it a special edge

The Palomino gastronomic empire started out in Seattle in 1969 with The Red Baron, although founder Rich Komen got started way back in 1961 when he got concessions contract at the University of Washington football stadium. He has come a long way since then with 11 Palomino's and 16 Kincaid Restaurants under his wing, with three more set to open this year. Other cities to catch a Palomino Euro Bistro include San Francisco, Dallas, Indianapolis, La Jolla, Honolulu, Cincinnati and Denver.

The chef at this particular venue shops for his produce at the Farmers Market in Westwood, with the bulk of the seafood coming from the highly rated Santa Monica Sea Food Company. A starter of Herb Crusted Dungeness Crab Dip (10.95) accompanied by baked La Brea Ciabatta with artichoke hearts, sweet onions and a fabulous cracked pizza crust is a perfect example of what I mean. Country Pate with Cornichons ($8.95) was tasty enough without being spectacular, although the extras of pickled shallots, seasonal greens, French oil-cured olives, herbed mustard and toasted spikes, helped the dish along. For those with a taste for anything savory, the Palomino delivers the goods.

With a choice of six salads to choose from it can be tricky to choose the right one, but we selected spot on with the Grilled Wild Mushrooms in balsamic vinegar (12.95), embellished with walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese. Again a lovely savory but also tangy thrill for the taste buds awaits, especially if you add an order of the Oven Roasted Penn Cove Mussels with extra virgin oil, garlic, fresh basil and tomato sauce thrown in for good measure.

With a perfect number of about twenty main courses main courses to choose from, the Grilled Rack of Lamb (24.95) and the Spit Roasted Garlic Chicken (15.95) were finally decided on. A demi-glaze veal stock reduction gave the lamb an Oscar winning feel, and the chicken was moist and tender enough to be almost as good. Needless to say, to go on about how great the food at this place is sounding repetitive, so get over there yourself as soon as possible to validate our claims. All the seafood items on the menu sound great, as no item will make it from the kitchen to your table that falls below the restaurants' high standards.

The wine list comprises of nine reds and seven whites ranging from the Beringer White Zinfandel at $17.95 to Clos du Val Chardonnay at $41.95. The La Crema Chardonnay we selected is a good all round wine that blended well with the diverse range of food selected and also got the thumbs up.

To sum up, the Palomino Euro Bistro is a great place for a get together with friends or a formal celebration and an excellent advert for Seattle style cuisine.

Mike Hepworth, March, 2000

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Tel: 310-208-1960
Fax: 310-208-3366
Valet Parking: $3.50

Palomino online

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