Culinary Musings: Violet
3221 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
On our menu:
Ahi Tuna Tartare
Baked Macaroni x 4
Lake Superior White Fish*
Rock Shrimp and Risotto or Polenta, I do not remember*
This is my second time dining at Violet and it was just as enjoyable as the first time. Among four friends, we ordered 11 plates and took home four because we were stuffed as well as leftovers of the baked macaroni to enjoy the next day.
When you first glance at the menu the servers advise not to order a salad only because on the menu each plate is listed as “small plates” and they mean it. I love the variety and the extra components added to the food. The baked macaroni [ photo ] has leeks, Gruyere cheese and Serrano ham that add a rich yet not too heavy flavor. One friend does not even like cheese and peeled away the top cheesy crustiness and was going to give it to me. I asked her to try it since I loved it and she did and almost finished the entire plate. That’s a true sign of good food, when there are ingredients diners to not enjoy and yet they like them.
I was expected the owner and chef to be there but he wasn’t. He is such a cutie and looks as though he should be a member of a rock band. Thank goodness he is the owner of Violet, he has too many great cooking skills.
The French fries were the thinnest fries I have ever enjoyed. I was expected Pomme Frittes style, but the came out very stylish wrapped in a paper cone inside of a metal holder with two dipping sauces, a curry one and a mustard one. These were far better than any fries from fast food chain and most restaurants in general.
Another friend does not enjoy raw fish yet she found the Ahi Tuna Tartare [ photo ]very yummy, and indeed it was. With the thin slices of cucumber and light sauce, and little fried thingies on top (Dinguses? -ed), this was my second favorite behind the baked macaroni. It is so hard to rank these plates, but I guarantee all of them were great.
The mushroom ravioli [ photo ] was the first place to come out and it was in a small bath of melted butter sauce which was frightening at first but hey all food is made with tons of butter so all four of us dug in. This place was a great way to start the meal because it led into more anticipation for the baked macaroni we were raving to our friends who had never been there.
By the time we were eating our baked macaroni we had to ask to get the rest of the order to go because apparently we were eating with our eyes first. We took home the scallops, white fish, rock shrimp and spinach. I tried the scallops and for $16.50 and four pieces of scallops it was pricey but yummy. There were little pieces of cauliflower and it had a nice sweet taste from raisins. I used to eating scallops just seared but the sweetness was a nice touch. The white fish is still in my fridge. I don’t know if I’ll eat it. I actually won’t because there is just too much good food to be eaten.
Oh, I also reheated my baked macaroni for lunch on Saturday. I left it in the toaster oven for about 15 minutes in the foil container. I heard it crackling a little. When I went to transfer my food onto my plate I was so scared to see all of that yellow butter melted out of my macaroni. I stared at it for about two minutes contemplating not eating it. But I realized that I had already eaten half last night and “whatever” I don’t eat badly more than once a week so it’s okay, I will dine on the buttery baked macaroni. I might have over-reheated and baked out all of the light cheesy goodness. However, these leftovers were definitely tasty still.
At the end of the meal, the server brings your receipt surrounded by little shot glasses of milk along with mini chocolate chip cookies. I have yet to order dessert here since I can never manager room for it. But the cookies are very yummy and I would order these by the dozen for my family if they were available.
Of all the Mac and cheese I have tried in Losanjealous and around the country, I enjoy Violet’s the most. I had starved all day so I could enjoy the goodness that is baked macaroni and it was well worth it. There are still a few more places in LA that I need to try, but I would love to always have a plate of Violet’s Baked Macaroni to compare it with the others. Something tells me that this place takes the cheese though! It’s a gut feeling. That or the fact that Jared is just so cute and he’s such a good cook that how could I not rank his as the best?
Total Bill: $114.00
For four friends, we each paid $35. We did not have any wine (we aren’t drinkers). We also managed to bring the most expensive plates home so had we only ordered what we ate this could have easily been a $20 meal per person.
*Indicated the plates that we took home.