Maré | West Hollywood, CA
Mare is basically a speakeasy restaurant. You have to enter through the back kitchen of a grilled cheese shop to get here, which is the best part! After you find the entrance, you are greeted by a lovely outdoor patio filled with string lights. Tres romantique!
We started with a few cocktails (Flor de Caña Extra Seco 4-year Rum + Melon + Cane and the Old Forester Whiskey + Fig + Oregano) which were both strong. I felt the melon was a very mild flavor and therefore a little bland.
We also got a side of Roasted Broccolini. This was intended to taste smokey, I believe, but they were overdone for our taste and lost the crisp bite which I love.
Baguettes are served rustic-style, just laid on the table. My preference is for soft, fluffy bread, so another miss for me.
The restaurant is best known for their Shellfish where you choose clams, black mussels, or shrimp and then mix this with one of the broths — leek and white wine, tomato fennel, pistou, spicy sausage romesco, or vadouvan curry & green apple. I got the clams with tomato fennel. This was amazing! The broth is both savory and just a touch sweet. I loved the flavor.
My date ordered shrimp with the broth of the day, a pear and bacon one.
You are also given noodles to add to your broth. This could have been excellent, and I love the concept, but the execution failed. The noodles were overcooked and too soft. There was no al dente bite at all.
In the end, Mare has a great ambiance, but I wouldn’t run back here for the food anytime soon.