A2 Rating Scale (out of 5):
WHAT: California-Italian Cuisine
WHO: Chef Stephen Kalt (who revived his 1990’s Tribeca restaurant of the same name)
WHERE: The heart of Melrose Ave in the former Melgard Space (so you know…Melrose and Gardner)
WHEN: Daily 11AM-3PM & 5:30PM-close; breakfast coming soon!
WHAT TO ORDER: A bday celebration was in order so we may have overdone it on the carbs (at least that’s the excuse we used for that night anyway)…and the wine. But distilled grapes are basically like eating fruit right? The grilled avocado ($14) with moroccan lemon, calabrian chili oil and ricotta salata was the perfect light opener for the meal and unlike anything I’ve ordered. One avocado halved so the perfect app to share for 2. We also indulged in the 24 month prosciutto di parma ($15) – while at first I wasn’t sold on a plate of prosciutto for 15 bucks (can we maybe get some bread with it?), this was melt in your mouth amazing and meant to be eaten on its own. Pairing it with anything else (other than wine) would be a disservice and my only complaint was that there wasn’t more. On to the carbs: the Pepperoni Pizza Rosa ($16) with calabrian chilies and honey was basically your standard pepp pizza with a twist and a good balance of spicy and sweet. But let’s be real, for that price, I’ll be trying something new next time that sounds a little less de-frostable. And the winner of the night was the pork collar ragu ($20) with prosciutto, calabrian chili, mozzarella and trofie. Honestly, I don’t accurately remember how to describe this other than we wanted more. Oh, and they can work on the presentation on this one — def didn’t look as good as it most certainly tasted.
DISCLAIMER: *Please note we were a bottle of wine deep by the time the carbs came on out so taste buds may have been slightly enhanced. Sorry for partying.
WHAT TO SKIP: We tried to be healthy and order a veggie but we chose wrong. The roasted acorn squash ($11) with hazelnuts and heather honey wasn’t helped by the vino and instead tasted chalky and dry.
THAT VIBE: Considering its newness, the restaurant was fairly crowded. Perf for a date night, girls dinner or a meal out with the family. But there was definitely a classier vibe so if you’re trying to get loud and party, maybe opt elsewhere.
WHERE TO SIT: The main indoor dining room or anywhere on the patio — and if you’re feeling a more casual vibe, the bar is always fun but slightly more isolated.
THE SERVICE: We sat at the bar while we waited for our table to be ready (even though pretty sure it was empty and prepped the second we walked in), and the bartender basically gave us a private tasting while helping us pick out our wine. That’s what’s up.
WHAT TO WEAR: Go casual, dress it up. Do your thing.
WHO YOU’LL SEE: Families, first dates, tenth dates, work drinks…a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
WHERE TO PARK: Valet or let’s be real, uber.
SUPES IMPORTANT: Beer and wine only…for now. They’re workin’ on that full liquor license for all your alcoholic needs though.
EDDR LIFE LESSON: Bobby Flay dubbed it one of the best new openings in LA — and although we love Bobby and it was good, we’re starting to think the famous chef world is like a frat (…or cult) — more support your bros and less…well…honest.
A2 FINAL THOUGHT: Solid food, solid scene, solid vibe…but we think that location is definitely in it’s favor. While I won’t necessarily be adding Spartina into my weekly Italian rotation, I’m happy to know it’s in the ‘hood for when I want to switch it up or take advantage of some patio style twinkle lights.
All restaurants should offer free wine tastings,
Spartina ↔ 7505 Melrose Ave, LA, CA 90046 ↔ 323-782-1023