02 Sep Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Bar Toscana’s New Look
Being a fan of Italian culture (food, wine, fashion, language, you name it!), I remember when I first went to Bar Toscana in Brentwood in West Los Angeles in 2010. Located next door to the long-standing restaurant Toscana, Bar Toscana reminded me of a bar I would go to in Milan, Italy. It was modern, minimalist and had a super cool feeling with white leather ottomans, digital images displayed in between the glass windows, a menu composed of small plates, or stuzzichini, and a selection of hand-crafted Italian-centric cocktails. Seven years later, Bar Toscana is still open but after a remodel, they have a new look and that is why Bar Toscana is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
The space is still modern with a cool vibe but now there is a warmth to the space. The stark white and black furniture has been replaced by warm colors of brown and burnt orange which match the exposed brick. Instead of white ottomans near the entrance, there is a large communal table and additional seating. And, along the glass windows overlooking San Vicente Blvd. are cozy round tables with comfortable chairs.
In general, the cocktail menu has not changed. For refreshing drinks, try the Pearbellini (grey goose le poire, st.germain and muddled fresh pear) or the Cinque Terre (rum, fresh strawberry, and lime juice). For classics, enjoy the Moscow Mule (vodka, fresh cucumber,ginger, lime juice and ginger beer) or the Old Fashioned (15 rye whiskey, homemade cherry-bitter syrup complete with orange and lemon peel, maraschino cherry). And for something spicy or herbacious, try the Mexico Piccante (infused reposado tequila with jalapeno, mezcal, fresh lime and cucumber juice) or Brentwood’s Garden (gin, cynar, fresh lime and cucumber juice).
The food menu is also familiar with dishes such as the fresh crudo di pesce, the involtini di melanzane (rolled eggplant with ricotta cheese and baby spinach in light tomato sauce) and the fichi gorgonzola e prosciutto pizza (mozzarella, grilled figs, gorgonzola cheese and prosciutto).
But on Tuesdays, Bar Toscana offers Taco Tuesday where they put an Italian spin on the Mexican favorite. There is also Fritto Misto Wednesday if you like different themes each night.
The taco I enjoyed was a taco al tartufo, a handmade tortilla filled with prime NY Steak, guacamole, pico de gallo and black truffle. I was skeptical at first because as much as I love truffles, they do not work on top of everything. But in this case, they did, giving the taco an Italian touch.
Next time you are look for somewhere for aperitivi after work, head to Bar Toscana. The warm and inviting new look will make you feel at home.
11633 San Vicente Blvd #100A
Los Angeles, CA 90049