Modern energy, classic elegance at Mirabelle

The Sunset Strip is a perfect L.A. example of the fusion of classic, Hollywood influence with the latest in trends and culture. Mirabelle Restaurant on the Strip (8768 West Sunset Boulevard) is the true embodiment this ethos in form and function. When you walk inside, you feel the classic, real Hollywood flavor, fused with the energy and elegance of something happening. It makes dining there a combination of class, comfort, and cool.

My girlfriend Denise and I arrived on an atmospherically rainy Sunday evening, in search of a cozy and comfortable night out before starting our week. The softly lit dining room was host to several groups, basking in royal Hollywood style. Our booth was close enough to the action to make us part of the proceedings, but private enough to keep things on the romantic side. A side I very much like. We started off with two appetizers from the newly updated menu. Tuna tartare was served over a crispy/chewy rice square, and drizzled with a tomato reduction. Rich and satisfying.

Our second dish, a Mediterranean appetizer sampler, offered an array of delectable treats, eclectic ideas with classic touches. Chickpea fries were light and crispy on the outside, warm and soft within. Crunchy, gooey, delicious. A terrine of duck confit was moist and tasty, slightly salty, the perfect counterpoint to a creamy dollop of house-made hummos served with toast points. Then a final taste sensation — chewy, goat cheese stuffed dates. It was an extremely satisfying combination of textures and flavors, an adventurous precursor to the meal. Highly recommended.

Following a light and refreshing salad with pears, gorgonzola, Belgian endive and hazelnuts, our main courses arrived, and they were spectacular. Denise ordered the house specialty, boneless Angus beef short-ribs that had been marinated in a red wine reduction and was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious. As great as Mirabelle’s menu is overall, the short-rib dish is so distinctive and supremely excellent that I could see myself returning again and again just to get a regular fill.

My aged filet was grilled expertly, topped with crispy bits of beef bone marrow that both enhanced the flavor of the beef, and added exceptional richness to the dish. Not for the faint of heart. In addition to our expert sides, which included scalloped potatoes and Swiss Chard, we ordered up a special side of crispy, shoestring sweet potato fries which were sensational alongside our outstanding steaks.

Finally, dessert, and though you might think that the line between a svelte, trendy L.A. dinner and an old-fashioned Hollywood food-fest had already been crossed, we were undeterred from trying the dark chocolate soufflé. With a side of sweet caramel sauce and a dollop of homemade caramel ice cream, it looked so good when it arrived I took a moment to snap a picture. Not only an extremely photogenic dish, but mouth-wateringly moist and satisfying as well. Finishing up with mocha lattes, we took another few moments to soak in the friendly ambience before tearing ourselves away from this cozy, Hollywood nest to head back out into the atmospheric, Los Angeles night.

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