Every time Sotto brings me to Los Angeles to work on our wine list, general manager Christine Veys and I try to break away to check out one of the new restaurants on LA’s vibrant food scene.
On Tuesday evening, after tasting roughly 30 wines with 6 different sales reps, we headed to my friend David Rosoff’s newly opened Moruno in the West Hollywood Farmer’s Market (a haunt of my youth).
That’s the absolutely delicious albacore tuna conserva in the photo above.
The menu is inspired by Spanish and Middle Eastern cookery and is delivered mostly in small plates and on skewers (as David put it, a moruno is “meat on a stick”).
We had a wide variety of dishes, including the roast butternut squash topped with cashews and sesame seeds, one of the guests’ and staff’s favorites, David said.
And of course, we sampled both the chicken and lamb morunos.
Everything was truly fantastic and it was great to see his energetic team working in the kitchen with such focused skill and decisive sense of mission.
But the thing that really blew me away about the experience was how good I felt the next day (sparing you the details, I’ll presume you know what I mean).
Whenever I travel for my work (and this year, I already have four trips to Italy and visits to New York, Miami, Santa Barbara, Boston, and LA under my belt), one of the greatest challenges I face is the combination of fatigue and distressed digestion (I’ll leave it at that).
Even though Christine and I really dug into our meal with gusto at Moruno, my “day after” was bright and sunny, as it were.
Maybe it was thanks to the superb Grenache Blanc by Cellar Frisach from southern Spain that made the difference. Zinging acidity in this hillside wine from the high lands, vibrant fruit and great balance, with restrained alcohol. I really dug it, especially at just $45 a bottle.
David, from one Jew to another, I LOVE your restaurant. The ultimate mark of a great meal is how you feel the next day and man, I woke up ready to go… as it were…
In other news…
My goodness, what a lovely night at Sotto last night where we launched our new wine list with a guided tasting of five new wines by-the-glass!
I can’t tell you how many times I lead tastings where guests show up only wanting to tell me about how they once visited Gaja.
Last night’s group was one of the best and most fun that I’ve ever tasted with: a very gracious ensemble of wine lovers who asked informed questions and shared thoughtful impressions of the wines. Thank you, everyone, for joining me.
And super heartfelt thanks to Christine for being such a great friend and colleague and for believing in my crazy reboot of our list (which I love).
And I also have to give a shout-out to my Texas family who surprised me by showing up at the tasting unannounced and staying for dinner. It was so fun to connect with them in LA and wonderful to know that I have family that supports me in what I do for a living. What a thrill for me to see Aunt Gladys enjoying my wine selections!
Now it’s time to get my butt back on a plane for Houston and some much needed downtime with Tra and the girls… Thanks for being here.