Tangier: Something For Everyone
T antalizing array of food to delight anyone
A mbience of warmth and hospitality
N oveau dishes to satisfy any palate
G arcia, the Chef, really knows how to cook
I nviting atmosphere includes the piano at dinner
E ntertainment seven nights a week
R ealistic prices for such generous portions
If you think I'm going to laud the lovely, intimate Tangier restaurant, you're absolutely right. This place has been in the Los Feliz community for many years but Andy Shim took it over about a year ago and transformed it into a marvelous restaurant, as well as a place to stop for a drink or come to see a show. It's a little bit of all of these things and it manages to do all of them well.
We arrived one Sunday evening at six and were the only diners. The comfortable booths, banquettes and tables were empty as Alexander took his place at the piano to serenade us with some lovely music. Candle lamps glow atop the sea of white tablecloths and Marissa appears out of nowhere, smiling and eager to serve. Rudy fills your water glass and deposits the bread and butter. And, as you settle in, you're even more comfortable than you thought for everything is perfect; calm and relaxed – a lovely atmosphere for dining.
The book-like menu is presented and your eyes gaze over three pages filled with nine appetizers, two soups, six salads, five pastas, four fish entrees, five meat entrees, two poultry and one grilled vegetable platter which may well be their most sterling offering. Chef Garcia fills that plate with about ten different kinds of vegetables – all fresh, all in-season, all quite delicious: a rainbow of healthy eating!
Dinner began with an assortment of six of his appetizers: the braised beef short ribs are excellent and almost enough to satisfy as a main dish. The tempura calamari are some of the best I've ever eaten. They come with two dipping sauces….marvelous. The sweet sesame shrimp are beer-battered tiger shrimp in a truly heavenly sauce. And the crab rolls are crisp and gentle at the same time. Each of these appetizers costs ten dollars and portions are most satisfying. The creamy tomato bisque ($7) is a thick, rich broth which awakens the tongue for both its heat and rich, delicate taste. A definite must to share. The Tangier salad, consisting of baby spinach, feta cheese, roma tomatoes, raisins and candied walnuts in balsamic vinaigrette, will have you smiling between bites. Again, at eight dollars, it seemed large enough to share.
What neither of us wanted to share was our main course: Fran chose the Miso glazed black cod ($25) which was accompanied by baby bok choy and wasabi mashed potatoes. She loved every forkful. My platter of Grilled vegetables was everything wonderful: an array of orange, green, brown and yellow, above a healthy portion of basil polenta. At fourteen dollars, a major steal! Remember: we're going healthy for 2008!
There are only six desserts on the menu – none of which created any temptation for either of us. The choices ran to the chocolate…Fallen chocolate cake, Flourless chocolate cake, Chocolate expresso pot de crème along with Crème brulee, Warm bread pudding and Cheesecake Tangier. All were $7.50. The coffee was rich and delicious.
What a surprise we had at the new Tangier. All this good food, accompanied by Alexander's lovely music and voice and Marissa's well-timed service made Tangier a place we shall return to often. And when you go, please tell 'em Joseph sent you. The belly dancer will wiggle one extra time, just for you!
Tangier Restaurant and Lounge, 2138 Hillhurst Avenue (one block below Los Feliz Blvd.) Los Angeles, CA 90027, Tel. (323) 660-1033, Dinner – 7 days, Approx. $65 for two w/o alcohol. For more information, visit www.tangierrestaurant.net