The sign inside says “Eat and Drink.”
The good folks at taste (with a lowercase “t”) want to emphasize that they’re not a wine bar.
It’s small, and perhaps the layout suggests a wine bar, but taste is a full service, sit down restaurant.
There are a couple of large common tables, and several small tables around the outer edges of the room. There's plenty of natural light. The noise level is ideal. There’s plenty of energy when there’s a crowd, but you can still hear your dining companions.
It’s a small but not cramped establishment that makes up for its limited space with a wide and varied menu that emphasizes the fresh and the farm to table.
“We cook elegant, rustic and honest food that takes your sense from classic, nostalgic flavors to new inspired dishes," the website says.
Erin O’Hagan and Laurie Semon are the co-owners. Semon describes herself as “the culinary visionary” and O’Hagan as the wine expert.
The dishes are designed to be shared. The way the menu is structured, people can build their own tasting menu. Usually two people will order three to seven items, including dessert.
Chef Brad Newman explains that they work with Organic Harvest Gardens in North Long Beach.
“It’s helpful because I can visit and see how things are growing and be more efficient in menu changes,” he said. “We like a mix of items, not so serious, with some comfort food.”
Anthony Dias, who handles the front of the house, said, “We want people to feel marvelous."
About The Food
Here are some menu highlights.
The chicken liver pate is a smooth, smooth paté with port-soaked raisins (which give a not quite so sweet flavor), crunchy toasted baguette and cornichons that are crunchy in a different way.
The Charred Organic cucumber salad ($8) comes with a yogurt Tahini sauce, and house-made Naan bread. The cucumbers burst with flavor with each bite.
The Ravioli comes with a quail egg cooked inside, ricotta and brown butter. It's smooth and delicate.
Grilled Baharat Spiced Flat Iron Steak is very tender and is served with Citrus Creamed Spinach, which provides just a hint of tang. It is accompanied by Grains of Paradise Pan Sauce, which is unlike any other gravy.
People wanted a burger, so we added that, Chef Brad said.
“But the onion rings are still popular.”
The menu explains why: “Ale Battered Maui Onion Rings with Sriracha Remoulade.”
For dessert, The Market Apricot tart is a perfectly textured pastry with fresh apricots. The Crème Brule and Blood Orange Whipped Cream features a hint of lavender.
“It’s so aromatic,” Dias said,” that everyone smells it when we bring it through the dining and other diners decide that they want to order it.”
Important To Know
The wine list is not all name brands.
“We try to find wines that aren’t everywhere that evoke the tastes of name brands," O’Hagan said.
Happy Hour with discounts on food and drink is 5 to 6 p.m. daily.
Some other daily specials are Duck Taquitos and Fish and Chips with $5 pints.
They’re happy to accommodate gluten-free diners and people with allergies. taste WBK is at 3506 E. Broadway.
They open at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The phone is (562) 433-1000. The website is www.taste-wbk.com. They take reservations including on Yelp.
The corkage fee is $20. Parking is on the street.