Vintage Enoteca off to a Fair Start

Vintage Enoteca got a solid review from Esther last week so we gave it a try. That strip of Sunset’s less-than-stellar restaurant options were briefly discussed in her review. I have a stronger opinion about that strip.

That block of Sunset (east of Fairfax and west of La Brea) is a restaurant wasteland, and it pisses me off because I work near there. For a long time the block reeked of raw sewage. They fixed the stench but haven’t fixed the other problem- Bossa Nova, which is one of the worst restaurants in LA. Yes, I said it. I don’t understand why it’s always crowded. It’s baffling. Toi is nasty. El Compadre is gross. Cheebo is fine, but not great. Curry Palace, Sunset Thai and Elderberries… Please, someone help.

Are you that someone, Vintage Enoteca? Six weeks ago Vintage opened in the former Abbot’s Habit space (who knew Abbot even had a second location outside of Venice). Vintage serves wine, beer and small plates in a nicer space than that block deserves.

The menu looks good, small, concise, offering simple, Italian-inspired small plates. From the start they’re not being overly ambitious, which is good. Just nail the simple stuff. That’s all that block needs.

I started with an Isastegi Sagardo Naturala, a funky apple cider with minimal carbonation and barely any sweetness. It was much closer to the sour beer I tried at Golden State than any cider I’ve had.

We ordered house-made pickled vegetables ($5), which were ice cold and very tangy. The corn was interesting, a good addition to any pickle plate.

The blue crab bruschetta came next ($6). There was a good amount of crab for the price, but overall it was bland. The mint and lemon that were advertised on the menu didn’t break through, and ultimately it wasn’t very satisfying.

Next up was the flatbread with cauliflower, prosciutto, bechamel, gruyere. This was delicious. Still subtle flavors for what I expect from small plates, but a good blend of crunchy prosciutto, soft cauliflower and smooth cheese.

Seconds after the flatbread, the caprese salad hit the table. The heirloom tomatoes were luscious. The buratta was very good and overall it was a solid caprese… for what that’s worth.

The service was fine, not intrusive or upselling. The music was odd- dancehall, reggae and a lot of vocals. Just play instrumental dub, or reggae or rocksteady or anything, but bring the vocal down and the bass up.

Overall, Vintage is off to a fair start. They don’t have a very high bar to reach on that part of Sunset, so hopefully they can maintain their simple menu and execute perfectly every time.

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3 Responses to “Vintage Enoteca off to a Fair Start”

  1. stuffycheaks Says:

    Excited to try this place out. The cauliflower flatbread looks interested, but was it heavy with all that bechamel and gruyere?

  2. Diana Says:

    I loved the cauliflower flatbread when I went a few weeks ago. The goat cheese bruschetta and proscuitto wrapped dates were also wins for me. Cool spot — will definitely be back!

  3. My Shimoda Says:

    I liked the Pino Noir the waitress recommended but a lot of the dishes fell flat. Salt, pepper, chili flakes,… yeah, where was the mint and lemon? I needed more!
    All and all not bad, but it feels like an old coffee house turned wine bar with an underage/raver scene just outside.

    Also, the waitstaff not upselling was true for me too. The waiter couldn’t care less and didn’t seem to know about the food so much…

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