Thursday, June 09, 2005

Roses are red, but Violet is yummy

According to the People's Almanac, large doses of the color violet can promote indulgence, which was certainly the case at last night's press dinner at Violet. The Santa Monica restaurant is the sort of place L.A. could use a lot more of -- reasonably-priced, with imaginative twists on comfort food prepared by one of the cutest chefs in town. Jared Simons is just 27, and he has wisely decided to keep the concept fairly simple for his first restaurant. The medium-sized space is basically a storefront with a few nice decor touches including deep purple walls, of course, and a small bar at the back. The menu encourages ordering small plates to share, but the dishes are more traditional than tapas-style.
Standouts included the baked macaroni with gruyere, leeks and serrano ham ($7.50),
a tasty version of the inevitable ahi tuna tartare ($12.50);

the lamb chops with fava bean puree and thyme honey pesto ($16);

and the multi-colored beets and smoked eel salad ($9).
We chatted with wine merchant Kenny Crowder who helped create the well-edited wine list, which includes plenty of selections by the glass and half-bottle as well as tasting flights from $8.50 to $12.50. Some artisanal beers are also available.

warm apple tart with cinnamon gelato and a very flaky crust
Why couldn't Violet be in Silver Lake, and Santa Monica could have Blair's? Wouldn't that be more fair?
3221 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica
(310) 453-9113