Had dinner Saturday night at Ombra Ristorante in Studio City. There were four of us, so I think we got a got cross section of the menu. My sister had gone for lunch on several occasions previously and knows the chef back when he worked at 561 in Pasadena.
The amuse bushe was olive tappenade with square chunks of hommade Chibatta. The chef slso sent out some deep fried pyramids of saffron rice. Somebody knows how to deep fry!
OK, the eats started with 3 salads and one app:
Two of my dining campanions had the arugula and raw artichoke shaved thin salad with a tart vinegarette. Tasty, well composed, and simple. My sister had the octopus salad with greens. Again, simple, lightly dressed, the quality of the ingredients stood on their own. I had the veal with tuna sauce and pickled red onion. The veal was tender, sliced ultra thin, with a creamy tuna sauce w/capers, and some acidic picked red onions to pull it together. It struck me as more of a French preparation than Italian, but I digress...
For entrees, we all went pasta ~ four different types in all:
Squid ink spaghetti with sea urchin was nicley balanced, the taste of the ocean very present. I had large tube pasta with lamb ragu. Perfectly al dente, the lamb sauce was rich with a bit of cinnamon. Stiill another dish was a red sauce with shaved, deep fried, eggplant. Finally, my bro-in-law had a macaronni of some sort with crab. Again, well composed, well seasoned...tasty.
For dessert we had cannolli, some biscotti, rocatta cheese cake with strawberries, and some gelatinous chocolate cake. The cheesecake was off in my mind. The biscotti also fell short. I didn't taste the canolli or chocolate cake but they got good reviews.
The service was attentive, the setting relaxing. While everything was basically tasty and well prepared, I was expecting more. It could be maybe my tastes run to more heavily seasoned food. Or...perhaps being a hound has just spoiled me. Hard to say. Anyone else been?