“Are you comfortable?’’ “Is it delicious?’’ “If you get a chance, take a look at the photographs on the walls — they’re by Hans Gissinger, in collaboration with the French chef Marc Meneau.’’ “Would you like to try our new water from New Zealand? It’s supposed to be the best-tasting in the world.’’ At Eva, the staff is so nice, and so accommodating, you get the feeling that they’d burp your baby or recommend a place to have your Mercedes detailed if they thought it would get you to reserve a four-top for next Tuesday night.
Occupying what until recently housed Hatfield’s, Eva is the creation of Mark Gold (no relation), a veteran of Joachim Splichal’s armies of the night, who dreams of a new kind of neighborhood restaurant. Eva is an intimate bistro friendly to kids and regulars, neither too loud nor too brightly lit, with a gently priced wine list, and a market-driven seasonal menu of Cal-Med cooking at popular prices, nudged but not driven by advanced techniques: black cod with seawater glaze; burrata-stuffed ravioli; foie gras with summer melon.
If the idea of linguine with clams reinterpreted as stretchy Japanese soba noodles tossed with sliced garlic, littlenecks and a generous handful of chunky bacon sounds good — and it should — you’re probably in the right place. Sunday nights see not just family-style dinners but epic family dinners: processions of chicken braised with hen of the woods mushrooms; braised brisket with frizzled broccoli rabe; sweet-corn risotto; meltingly tender butter-poached sea trout; and perhaps a spoonful of frisée salad in a lightened Green Goddess dressing, all for $35 ($20 for kids), including wine and a dessert or two. Last Sunday after dinner, Gold brought ripe musk melon to the table, whacked it apart with a big knife and scooped seeds onto the pristine tablecloth. Antonin Artaud might have approved; my 6-year-old certainly did.
EVA, 7458 Beverly Blvd., L.A., (323) 634-0700. Lunch, Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner, Mon.–Thurs., 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 6 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday family dinner 2 p.m.-9 p.m. AE, D, MC, V. Full bar. Valet parking.