Don’t Dally Visit Kali…

Beet Tartare

As with dating, don’t judge only by appearance.

Inside a nondescript building in a homely section of Los Angeles, close to Paramount Studios, resides newcomer, Kali Restaurant.

Chef Kevin Meehan & Wine Director Drew Langley
Chef Kevin Meehan & Wine Director Drew Langley photo:kail restaurant

The team is first rate. Chef Kevin Meehan and wine expert Drew Langley met while working at L’Orangerie 15 years ago.

Meehan moved on to prominent positions in the Patina Restaurant Group, as well as running his own pop-up series, Kali Dining.

Langley went on to head up the wine program at acclaimed, Providence Restaurant.

They are reunited and it tastes so good, bringing contemporary Californian cuisine and an excellent wine program to Larchmont Village.

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The casual, stark 65-seater interior is not my style, but the food is fabulous.

I went off the rails and ordered a Bonny Doon Grenache ($10). It was surprisingly good and opened up beautifully. David went with the Einstok White Ale from Iceland ($6).

The wine list is quite accessible. A bottle of the aforementioned Bonny Doon Grenache is a reasonably priced $38.

Our delightful server, Nandi, guided us expertly through the tempting choices.

Beet Tartare
Beet Tartare

We started with a divine beet tartare.

The dish arrives in tartare form with an egg yolk facsimile which in actuality is a vegan “egg yolk” made from preserved lemon curd perched in the middle of a chopped beet tartare with collar greens, almonds and preserved lemon ($12).

Asparagus Tips
Asparagus Tips

Next, we indulged in the fabulous Asparagus Tips with duck egg, tarragon and cracklin ($14).

Yellowtail & Uni
Yellowtail & Uni

The Yellowtail & Uni with radish, tomato and lemon was uninspired.

If there had been more of the delectable uni, the dish would have sparkled ($14).

Rosemary Roll
Rosemary Roll

Nandi delivered a lovely homemade rosemary roll with tasty fresh butter.

Cavatelli
Cavatelli

We staged the dishes.

The Cavatelli with arugula, creme fraiche, local peppercorn and fried parsley was terrific ($14).

Black Cod
Black Cod

We ordered one main, the Black Cod with the most incredible fresh peas, mint, almond and white chocolate ($32).

There is also a five course tasting menu which is a very good deal at $65.

We sat next to a charming couple. She is South African and they just finished their dream home in a gorgeous part of Capetown.

She enjoyed the duck breast with carrots, honey and lavender ($34).

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(right) Chef Kevin Meehan

If Kali were closer to home we would definitely revisit the neighborhood gem.

I am glad that we did make the trek to Kali…don’t dally.

Kali Interior
Kali Interior

Kali Restaurant 5722 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles, California. Open Monday-Friday 12-2pm, 6-10pm. Saturday 6-10pm, closed Sunday.  Reservations on OpenTable.com. Valet ($8) and street parking

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