A+ Ambiance at A.O.C.

With so much commotion during the holiday season we think its important to take a moment to celebrate each other, and of course, a good meal. This year, Please the Palate had much to celebrate, starting with our first company holiday lunch! For this special outing, we decided to wine and dine at A.O.C. Wine Bar and Restaurant, located in the heart of 3rd street in West Hollywood.

2013 marked A.O.C.’s 10th anniversary. For the past decade partners Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne have been curating small plates that feature fresh ingredients and flavors from Italy, Provence, Spain and North Africa and an international wine list featuring boutique producers.

This past February, A.O.C relocated from their original location to their current larger location on 3rd Street, across the street from Cedar Sinai Medical Center. The ambiance and attention to detail will draw you in. With vine covered walls, French doors and a brick covered patio and fireplace, this hidden gem looks like a villa right off of the Amalfi Coast. Seating is cozy yet comfortable with plush leather booths and a full bar indoors, as well as outdoor patio seating that is lantern lit and tree lined.

   

   

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The menu is truly a treat for those adventurous palates who appreciate the savory and sweet with a little twist.  We started our lunch with a few small bites to share and paired them with a vibrant glasses of Rose wine. First we tried the bacon-wrapped dates, which were crisped to perfection and not too sweet, as sometimes dates can be. Next the Spanish fried chicken was served with romesco aioli & chili-cum butter. The chicken breast was juicy and crisp with just the right hint of spiced seasoning. Finally, we enjoyed a personal favorite, fried oysters with celery root remoulade & watercress. The subtle flavor and buttery crunch make this a must-try for those who aren’t frequent oyster eaters.

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The lunch menu offers focaccias that are prepared open-faced like a pizza, as well as classic focaccia sandwiches. We ordered focaccia with baby broccoli, bagna cauda, burrata & cippolini. Although on the smaller size, it was just right for two. This focaccia covered in olive oil almost melts in your mouth, and we couldn’t get enough. We also shared the flaked albacore salad. Filled with grilled spiced tuna, lemongrass sambal, raw bok choy & mizuna, it was refreshing with a citrus finish. The lunch menu also offers traditional plate lunches but had ordered plenty.

   

Just when we thought this meal couldn’t get any better, we splurged and ordered the pear crisp, accompanied by espresso. And we are sure glad we did!

AOC Wine Bar & Restaurant 
8700 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, California

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