A Second Visit to Trattoria Natalie [Food Friday]
On Monday, I had the opportunity to return to Trattoria Natalie, located on 8681 West Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. While I had had a pleasant experience my first time going there last year, I was excited to try different foods this time.
I went with a group of people,* so we were served with multiple appetizers to share, an entrée for each of us, multiple desserts to share, and wine, which was fantastic to be able to sample a wide range of their offerings.
We were served six different appetizers (to share), which was awesome (pretty much the majority of their appetizer menu). The Pan-Fried Mozzarella Sticks were yummy, nicely crunchy, and a delectable drippy cheese, accompanied by a a yummy, flavorful tomato-based sauce. The Crispy Cheese Risotto Balls were interesting: they had a great texture, mostly soft, but also a slight crunch and were chewy. They were certainly novel to me. The Shiitake Mushroom Fried Calamari was really cool – the mushrooms were nicely fried, chewy, and crunchy and the sauce went well with it. The Mango Tuna Tartar with Avocado was supplied with corn tortilla chips, the latter of which added a nice crispiness with the soft tuna. The Garlic Parmesan Fries were great, as they had been upon my first time enjoying them.
The wine we were served was Judean Vineyards Jerusalem Hills Silver Blend Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend, which had a fruity nose, a touch of oak, a slight touch of dryness (initially), but was actually kind of sweet and certainly smooth. It definitely appeals to a broad audience, due to these latter two qualities.
For the entree, I ordered the Linguini Jumbalaya, which had various fish cut up in it. The fish pieces that were included had a fantastic and were nicely flavored. The texture of the pasta was good, however, the sauce was nothing special – not particularly flavorful (nor spicy, for that matter). I think I expect jumbalaya to be well-flavored and with spices (like La Gondola’s fantastic jumbalaya), so I was disappointed that this jumbalaya was not as well-spiced.
Each of the four desserts served were better than the next and yummy. The Crème Brûlée was sweet, light, lightly crunchy and daintily delightful. The Cheesecake was good and the Tiramisu was soft and yummy. But the most popular dessert at the table (of which I was able to get in only one bite before it flew around the table) was the Lava Cake. This Lava Cake was clearly not a typical Lava Cake. It was soft, chewy, and chocolatey. I think the reason this dessert went super quickly was primarily because it was chocolate, although it was also really fresh.
We had a great dining experience and the staff catered to us very well, with some great service. The appetizers were very tasty and the desserts were all quite yummy (although one shouldn’t be surprised – they are a french restaurant, after all). I
* A mix of current students as well as local alumni of my rabbinical school (of which, I am in the latter category) gathered. I want to give my deep appreciation to my school and those who made such a wonderful opportunity possible.