Napa Valley Grille, located at the border separating Westwood’s hustle-and-bustle with one of the last quiet and homey neighborhoods in LA, is both a step back in time and a modernistic showcase. This interesting feat is embodied by classic flavors with just enough of a twist to appear all-new, as well as a beautiful layout that still reminds you of home. Even the crowd mixes past, present and future, with energetic couples, business groups and locals who have lived in the neighborhood for decades all dining side by side.
The menu reflects Napa Valley Grill’s appeal to ‘palates distinctive of West Coast wine country’ which also encompasses local, sustainable ingredients. This means that the menu also changes seasonally, with new additions coming in pleasant batches.
Among the seasonal delights is the Kansas City strip, a 14-oz steak with charred onion-thyme jam and green peppercorn-cognac ju, adding a distinct sweetness that melds beautifully. The Ancho-crusted albacore tuna is just in as well, with a sear that releases spectacular flavor. Pair these with some baked cavatelli gratin—think of it as spruced up mac ‘n’ cheese—and you’ve got a heck of a palate-pleaser. All sides, by the way, come out in great portions fit for sharing.
Additional highlights include the crescenza cheese and serrano ham tartine and the charcuterie, led by a house-made chicken liver pate. Sadly, though, these appetizers don’t come out in portion sizes that can justify their price, and the charcuterie could really use some cheese to round it out.
Save room for dessert, because the butterscotch bread pudding and sticky toffee date cake are as decadent as they sound. When it comes to drinks, the wine list is quite extensive but cocktails don’t come together that well; it should be noted, though, that their drinks are strong and do come out in real sizes [as opposed to some menial 4 – 5 oz drinks you’ll get elsewhere].
Service is as pristine as the atmosphere. Thankfully so, because with this kind of experience in this location, that bill will set you back. Good thing there’s an excellent happy hour [and reverse happy hour] menu.
Napa Valley Grille is located at 1100 Glendon Avenue, #100, Los Angeles, CA 90024. Average out-the-door price for appetizer, entrée, side, dessert and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$125/person. For more information or reservations call (310) 824-3322 or visit Napa valley Grille online.
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Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.