REVIEW: SAVORY

Way up north by Point Dume is Zagat best newcomer for 2012, Savory.  Its strip mall location beside a Subway belies its serious farmers market and seasonal menu.  Inside it’s light wood floors, large banquettes and some seriously ugly art.  There is also a large enclosed patio to enjoy nice evenings from which you can obscure yourself from the drek art that proves some people need new hobbies and others should ask for decorating help.

So, will Savory live up to the hype?

The brunch menu is divided into:

Soup and Salad (butternut squash soup, walnuts, walnut oil; shaved apple salad, goat cheese, red flame grapes, walnuts, balsamic; Zuma canyon salad, lemon, olive oil, fleur de sel)

Pizza (margerhita; fennel sausage with caramelized onion, burrata, tomato sauce)

Burgers and sandwiches which are served with fries, tempura onion rings or green salad (beer-battered Atlantic cod, arugula, heirloom tomato, remoulade; Dietsel Farms turkey burger with aioli, arugula, heirloom tomato and brie; wolfmother, brie and blue cheese, arugula, aioli, balsamic-red onion compote; rib eye burger, bacon, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, American cheese)

Entrees (steamed black mussels, chorizo, piperade, grilled bread; king salmon, miso broth, scallions, shimeji mushrooms; Jidori chicken, Windrose farms heirloom tomatoes, burrata, Guinness battered fish and chips with malt vinegar)

Breakfast which features eggs, omelets, waffles, huevos rancheros a pork belly scrambler and assorted pastries.

None of this particularly matters for you because chef Paul Shoemaker (ex-Providence/Bastide) changes the menu daily.  But it does give you a peek into the world of food you’d be looking forward to should you make the trek out to Northern Malibu.

For brunch we decide on a margherita pizza to start, the Dietsel Farms turkey burger with aioli, arugula, heirloom tomato and brie along with a side of tempura onion rings and the Guinness battered fish and chips with malt vinegar.

One small annoyance, no bread service during brunch?!  That’s weak.  So The Monster also orders the morning bread basket of brioche bread with nutella and marmalade jam.  At $6 it doesn’t feel justified with four pieces of bread and small servings of nutella and jam.  Still, nutella is not the worst way to start a meal.

A long wait for the appetizer pizza.  The waiter keeps telling us it’s almost ready.  When it does finally arrive it’s worth the wait.  Thin, charred crust, a sweet, fresh sauce and gobs of cheese.  With some crushed red pepper it puts a smile on The Monster’s face.

As for the main courses.  Disappointment would be the operative word.  It’s a very turkey forward burger and it’s huge.  It’s good, not great.  That’s the best of the lot. 

The onion rings are not good.  At all.  Very hard and the onion flavor disappears in them.  The accompanying sauce is a Day-Glo orange paste that looks like cheese wiz.  Pass. 

Likewise, the thick cut fries are overcooked.  Messing up fries is just brutal.  The fish batter is hard and obscures the fish underneath.  Not a winner. 

Everything tastes like it was sitting too long.  And in fact it was.  From The Monster’s vantage point he can see the food waiting on the pass in the kitchen.  And waiting some more.  What may have been fresh and great tasting instead came out stale and hard.  And given the wait for the food sending it back isn’t an option.   

The Monster and his companion leave hoping that perhaps this is an off day at Savory.  Because if this is the best new restaurant LA has to offer the dining scene is in need of a major shake-up.     

Perhaps Pierce Brosnan, who has been holding court at a front table the entire morning is having better luck.

Why go?  After The Sunset is your favorite movie. 

Monster rating: 2½/5 Monsters

Point Dume Village/29169 Heathercliff Road

Malibu, CA 90265

(310) 589-8997

Savory on Urbanspoon

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