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Restaurant Reviews

Eat This Now: Vegetable Casserole at Bolsa

The restaurant's menu is small, but has a wide range of choices to fit every palate.

Last Sunday, I took a friend visiting from LA to dinner at Bolsa. It was nice to see that the eight-year-old restaurant has aged gracefully. The kitchen has been through a lot of turnover, but ever since Matt Balke took over in December 2015, the food is consistently excellent.

My friend, a self-confessed “LA wine snob,” put our waiter to work. He was unsure of the answers to her questions, but before I could say “Pinot,” general manager Landon Lee swooped in for the save. He brought samples of three different wines before my snobby-in-a-good-way pal agreed to a bottle of Porter and Plot Grenache Noir, a sassy fruit-forward red that paired well with all of our food choices, from (‘natch) Pasa Robles, California.

The smoked trout rillettes was a marvelous starter, but the winner for the evening was a sorta simple vegetable casserole. Served in a cast iron skillet on a butcher block, it was a steaming dish of squash, zucchini, eggplant, roasted mushrooms, onions, peppers layered with dollops of mozzarella, pecorino all wrapped with leaves of arugula and broccoli rabe. I would recommend this dish to carnivores and vegetarians and I’m sure Balke would work with vegans as well. The whole staff is eager to please and friendly.

Photo by Nancy Nichols
Photo by Nancy Nichols

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