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Eating at Black Market LA
02/23/2013 (rev. 02/25/2013) by
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No, this isn’t the clothing store on the west side.  This is the Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City.  I went here with my cousin based on reviews from a friend.  People and Zagat say it’s good, so we checked this out.

The decor of the restaurant was interesting.  There’s a sign on top of the building that says “Victory Motorcycles Co”, so I was curious as if I went to the right place.  Inside the restaurant, it had a tavern feel to it similar to some speak easy bars.

So here is what we ordered for entrees:

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1. Brussel sprouts, almonds, grapes, pecotino.  This was mediocre at best.  The brussel sprout’s leaves were peels and slightly charred.  There was some type of vinegar in it that reminded me of an Asian dish that I’ve had before.

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2. Smoked trout toast, pickled veg, egg.  The waiter claimed this was to die for.  I wouldn’t go to that extent about it, but it was decent.  The vegetables weren’t pickled all that much.  Typically I think of pickled as being preserved with some sour kick to it.  This was actually slightly on the sweet side.  The toast was pretty good, and the trout was lightly smoked.

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3. Peel and eat lemon pepper shrimp, oranges, crystal’s aioli.  Many recommend ordering this.  The shrimp is heavily doused with lemon pepper, so be prepared.  The aioli sauce (in the small jar) tasted like it has some sriracha in it.  The shrimp surprisingly was actually pretty good with that lovely lemon pepper, so I would recommend NOT dipping the shrimp into the aioli because it will overpower the flavor of the shrimp.

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4. Spicy Korean chicken wings, cucumber kimchi.  The spicy Korean chicken wings were just OK.  They were heavily fried and heavily sauced with a super tangy spicy Korean flavored sauce.  The cucumber kimchi was forgettable since the wings were so heavily flavored.  It might have been better to use regular (or pickled) cucumbers to counter balance the tangy and sweet sauce of the wings.

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5. Mussels, fennel, chili, garlic baguette.  The mussels were surprisingly fresh although they were very sweet.  The broth was a tad too sweet for my liking.  You can taste the butter and the garlic in it, but I kept thinking of “candy mussels” when I was eating this.  The garlic baguette was extremely oily, probably from the garlic oil that it was soaked in it.  When dipping the garlic into the broth, it was just too sweet to my liking.  I wish they had a lemon to squeeze into the broth or even some salt to it because overall it was a little too sweet.

And for dessert:

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6. Spicy chocolate pudding, salted whipped cream.  The chocolate pudding’s spice kicks in at the end.  The whipped cream didn’t taste like it was salted as the sweetness of the chocolate pudding suppressed it.  The 2 red things on top of this are blood oranges.  This dessert was just ok for me.

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7. Deep fried fluffer-nutter, peanut butter, marshmallow, fresh bananas.  The last dessert for us was this fried contraption.  It’s basically fried breading around bananas and peanut butter.  The white gooey filling are melted marshmallows.  Of all the dishes we had this evening, this was (unfortunately?) probably the most memorable for the night.  It was surprisingly less sweet than the mussels and the Korean chicken wings.

I think at the end of the night I was more relieved it was done.  So far I’m 0 for 2 with my cousin in enjoying new restaurants.  Our last fail was Baco Mercat, which was subpar.  Perhaps our palettes are too picky.  The prices were fairly reasonable (about $90 + tax at the end of the night for 2), so maybe our expectations were too high since we can name off the top of our heads the best <insert food> we’ve ever eaten.  But don’t let me deter you from trying this place.  Definitely check this place out, form your own opinion, and let me know about it!

Visit: http://blackmarketliquorbar.com

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  • Fox W

    I agree with every word here. As much as I like the “sweet & savory” flavor profile, when the entire meal was base on that, it just got really tired really fast.