Marvelous Marvin…Los Angeles Restaurant Review


I am always on the lookout for consistently fabulous local restaurants.

Alas, they just do not seem to exist in my neighborhoods.

I am always traveling to other people’s enticing neighborhood places.

Last week I ventured to West Hollywood on a Friday night. It took 50 minutes to travel 9.9 miles.

Marvin was worth it.

Who knew that Marvin has been hangin’ out for eight years.

Combine a French bistro with an imaginative wine bar serving marvelous food, add the comfortable familiarity of Cheers and, voila, you have Marvin.

The owner is Max Marder the intriguing son of highly successful restaurateur, Bruce Marder of Copa and Cora’s Coffee Shoppe fame, who has  been killing it on the Los Angeles restaurant scene since 1972.

Upon arrival I entered a simple, rather bare bones restaurant, featuring a bar lined with a plethora of wine bottles (allegedly over 200), backless stools and a ceiling filled with aluminum tomato cans.

It was early so we had the pick of two tops.

Our server, Trent, had us at hello.

Displaying his thespian innate talent, Trent is an affable and outgoing server who knows his wines and is definitive about which dishes to recommend.  BTW, he is a gifted custom furniture maker.

I started with a fabulous non-funky orange wine from Italy ($22).

My constant dining partner indulged in a chilled dry Sicilian red ($19).

The food, prepared with style and taste by former Capo chef and now Marvin Executive Chef and Managing Partner, Ricky Moreno, arrived hot, fast and furious and beyond delicious.

Who knew Marvin could produce miracles?!

The Fried Zucchini Blossoms, a vision with warm, oozing cheese and perfectly fried squash blossoms bathed in a fabulous pomodoro sauce, was ecstasy and the smattering of plump cherry tomatoes divine ($20).

The Clark Street bread that accompanied the dishes was superb.

The Caesar was amazing with a light hint of anchovies. The salad was chilled and crunchy, the croutons tender yet crispy with just the right amount of dressing ($19).

The Chanterelle and Ricotta Toast provided a dab of sweetness balanced by the distinctive mushrooms and, again, the bread was stellar ($20).

The menu is varied and extensive.

I really wanted to try the pasta which Capo is known for along with a fish dish, a luscious pork chop or steak but, alas, I was satiated.

We did order a dessert forgetting to select a white peach cobbler which needs 45 minutes to prepare and must be ordered when initially making dinner selections.

The Toffee Date Cake brought back sweet memories as it tasted just like Queen E.’s renown date nut bread ($14).

I only wish a place like Marvin would find it’s way to West Los Angeles or the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Marvin is a hidden gem that must be experienced.

Marvin 8114 Beverly Boulevard West Hollywood, California. Open Tuesday-Saturday 5pm to Midnight, Sunday 5-10pm. Metered street parking.  Reservations on Resy.

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