Tipple & Brine

14633 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Critics' Pick
Tipple & Brine +

Photo: Anne Fishbein


  • Dinner
  • Full bar
  • Street Parking, Valet Parking
Sherman Oaks gastropub Tipple & Brine is crowded with as many trendy touchstones as you could possibly cram into a concept: a serious cocktail program and a secret upstairs bar, local and sustainable menu items, servers oozing cool as if it's their job, a wood interior lit by dangling filament bulbs. Stylish but rugged, the place might be the swank/rustic galley of a yuppie pirate ship. And once you get past the local/sustainable/small-plates-meant-for-sharing server monologue, which you probably can recite in your sleep, you'll find a menu with real merit, in terms of both creativity and technique. Squash soup is generally sweet, heavy and comforting, but here the soup of summer squash is whipped into an airy lather — so light it's practically a foam, yet substantial enough to carry the pure flavor of the vegetable. Two squash blossoms rest atop the frothy soup, stuffed with a combination of cheeses but not so dense as to ruin the buoyant personality of the dish. Many of the best items on offer here are a triumph of acid — Chef Mike Williams knows how and when to employ it: a perky fava bean gremolata on an otherwise exceedingly rich lamb shank with creamy grits, or a tangy, squid ink aioli under tender fried octopus. -- Besha Rodell

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