Westside devotees of the original Taste on Melrose will be happy to find that its new branch in Pacific Palisades serves up much of the same menu in much of the same ambiance. As a nod to the neighborhood demographic (i.e. overworked, affluent professional homebodies), the new location also offers carry out and delivery service for its menu.
Start with something simple like the grilled artichoke with a white balsamic-tartar sauce, then try one of the salads. The roasted red and golden beets, baby arugula and warm herb-crusted goat cheese is fresh and light, while the grilled romaine, sliced seasonal apple and smoked bacon is smoky but tangy.
Main courses are updates on California comfort foods, and come in huge portions. The cumin-spiced pork chop with sharp mojo sauce and sugar snap peas is a real standout, while the sesame-crusted seared ahi tuna with sautéed bok choy and cremini mushrooms in a black bean sauce was fresh and tender, if a little under-seasoned. The creamy, garlicky white truffle oil and mushroom mac 'n' cheese makes for a great side.
For dessert, try the fluffy chocolate brioche bread pudding with crème anglaise and vanilla gelato, or the tart blackberry cobbler with ice cream.
The wine and beer list is also decent. Like the rest of the menu, surprises are few, but at least you know what you're getting--and you know it will be good.