The first solo project of Patina alum Octavio Becerra, Palate is an opium dream of a restaurant, a relaxed, butter-yellow space in Glendale's car-dealer district, a dining room sprawling into a cocktail lounge, a wine bar, laboratories for curing meats and aging cheeses, and a well-curated wine shop. Palate, which occupies the ground floor of a huge wine-storage building, is intensely personal, and an evening there can feel a lot like stopping by a friend's house and having him show you some cool things he just picked up: lamb from the eccentric Sonoma farmer Don Watson; butter churned from scratch; a “porkfolio” plank that might include Iowa prosciutto, a scrap of house-made lardo
, or some salame
from a secret California source. The menu is tiny and seems even shorter than it looks - most of the text on the slender document is devoted to charcuterie, house-made pickles and cheese - but changes often. Becerra puts up a lot of things in Mason jars, stiff, unctuous pastes of pork or salmon enhanced with house-churned butter or pure lard. Becerra is deft at getting out of the way of great ingredients, and his best dishes - mackerel with dates and pistachios, grits with porcini, vegetables roasted in parchment - are almost deceptively simple, built around an array of precisely seasonal produce. See full review.
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, American Express
Reservations: Accepted, Highly Recommended