Have you ever had one of those amazing culinary experiences that it literally moved you to write a food blog? Luckily for me, I did! And luckily for you, you get to read about it 🙂
Before I dive into one of the most scrumptious meals of my life, I would like to make a full disclosure that I’m not a ‘Foodie’ per say. Some of you that know me, know I’m a small and picky eater (I feel sorry for my poor husband who deals with this on everyday basis). Nonetheless, I appreciate the art of cooking and the adventures that it takes us on.
So, for my latest culinary ‘adventure’, I was invited to a brand new restaurant- Vita Italian Bar & Grill (www.vitalosangeles.com- soft opening on March 8th). If you are wondering why I am calling this an adventure, here’s why- I have never been to a restaurant prior to its opening, where the number of servers is double the number of guests they are serving, and where the well renowned Chef of the restaurant comes by your table after every course aaaand tops it off by whipping up some delectable desserts just for you.
Our meal started with Bruschetta, made with local seasonal tomatoes. It had an interesting (in a good way) smokey flavor to it, that made it unique. For a person like me who HATES tomatoes to enjoy bruschetta speaks for itself. We then got a Heirloom Caprese, this had- buffalo mozzarella, shallots, young basil and aged balsamic from a local farm in Temecula. It wasn’t my favorite dish on the menu but the colors on the plate and the presentation won me over. Next was Tuna Tartare, made with fresh Tuna. Our main course consisted of Spice Rubbed Baby Lamb with pomegranate jam/hazelnuts/basic cream, Grilled Lobster Risotto and a very green Pizza (toppings- prosciutto/wild arugula/truffle oil/pecorino/pesto). I can’t pick my favorite out of these, they were all cooked and plated to perfection. Apparently, the Chef was in the same predicament when I asked him what was his favorite on the menu; his reply was “everything”. Speaking of the Chef, Mr. Mitch Weaver, has a pretty impressive resume of his own- former Saucier at the Ritz Carlton, Chef de Cuisine at the St. Regis Monarch in Laguna Beach, Executive Sous Chef for Dodgers Stadium- among other accolades.
Here’s something that I don’t think I have shared before but I am a sucker for a good dessert. I judge a restaurant by its dessert selection (I know that’s pretty horrible). In that vein, Chef Weaver scored some extra points for presenting this amazing chocolate bread pudding with homemade butterscotch and hand made salted caramel ice cream. It was every bit as mouth watering as it sounds. We also got ricotta cake with vanilla-citrus mascarpone and brule mission figs- DELICIOUS.
I think it was Julia Child that said, ”You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients”. This is exactly what Vita and Chef Weaver believe in. In fact, so much so that they are planning to buy a plot right behind the restaurant to grow their own fresh supply of vegetables. They are currently getting their veggies locally from Cal Poly Pomona.
I quite honestly loved everything about this restaurant- convenient location right off the freeway in Pomona, the cool earthy interior, the ambiance, the view, the service, clearly the food. I hope you guys give Vita a chance to woo you as well.
Photo Credit: Catherine Chen and Stephanie Hernandez