Bringing to bear all that he experienced in the kitchens at Café Pinot and Leatherby's Café Rouge, Chef Mark Gold has transformed the former Hatfield's space into his own intimate salon -- Eva -- and is cooking up fabulous fancy foods at recession prices.
With everything meant to convey a sense of hominess (the restaurant is even named after Gold's "grandma" and daughter), the space received a fresh coat of muted cream paint, some soft lighting, and a set of new windows looking into the kitchen. Even the outdoor front deck lit by flickering candles is a cozy quarter cocooned from the hubbub of Beverly Boulevard.
Homey though it may be, the food, which will change seasonally, is anything but boring. Fresh, shimmering oysters come with a sweet pink shiso granita.
The butter-smooth foie gras is accompanied by summer melon, maple glaze and bright red maldon salt. Ravioli are stuffed with slightly salty burrata that plays off the butter foam and shaved truffles that garnish them.
The entrees are equally multi-faceted, but still accessible. Linguini is made out of udon and comes topped with littleneck clams in a smoky but bright bacon-garlic glaze. Poached beef is unbelievably tender and mild, and perfectly complements the salsa verde and charred mini-cauliflower that join it on the plate.
The meal is not over yet, however. There is a cutely equipped cheese cart with the usual range of choices, as well as a dessert menu with options like the chilled chocolate-almond espresso with the texture of a well-mannered mousse.
The best part, though, is that no dish costs over $20. "Eva is a neighborhood spot that's approachable to everyone," explains Gold. "We want people to be able to come here two, three times a week if they want." That also explains the low mark-ups on the regular and reserve wine lists, which both contain some extraordinary listings from France and California.
That neighborhood mentality is also spurring Gold to host weekly Sunday suppers (bound to become an L.A. must) made from whatever's available at the farmers' market that day and served family-style for just $35 (wine included). Who wouldn't want to come home to that?
Address: 7548 Beverly Blvd.
Cross Street: Sierra Bonita Ave.
Phone: (323) 634-0700
Hours: Tues-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Tues-Thurs 5:30pm-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 5:30-11:00pm, Sun 2:00-9:00pm
Type: Californian, Seasonal