I had the best time catching up with my girlfriend Thien at Oriel. Opened by Bar Covell’s Dustin Lancaster late last year, Oriel is a newish wine bar tucked underneath the Metro tracks on the edge of Chinatown. There’s nothing quite like enjoying the melodic soundtrack of trains coming and going, while sipping a very nice glass of wine—whoosh! I highly recommend you try it.
With springtime in the air, sparkling rose felt appropriate for the occasion. We sipped a glass each as we perused Chef Evan Algorri’s (Union Square Cafe, Bouley) classic French bistro menu.
It was a cold day by L.A. standards, so the French Onion Soup ($10) with 15-month-aged Comte sounded particularly appealing. The broth was warm and satisfying, while the cheese and crouton topping was so, so good. I don’t normally order French Onion Soup, but the loveliness held within this tureen may have turned me in to a convert.
Thien insisted on salad because she keeps it real like that. The Bibb Salad ($12) with fine herbs and aged Gouda was delightful, especially the mountain of delicately grated cheese on top.
I could not resist the Duck in a Jar ($13) with warm spices, shallot, and port. Served on the side were really good bread, whole-grain mustard, caramelized onions, cornichons, and caper berries. This, in my humblest of opinions, is the perfect food to pair with wine.
Last but not least, we shared the escargots ($13) swimming in a bath of parsley and garlic butter. Cue the Burgundian dining flashbacks…
From start to finish, our experience at Oriel exceeded expectations. The wine was fabulous, of course, and the food matched it on every level. Here’s to becoming a regular, one sip at a time.
1135 North Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
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