After spending a sunny afternoon over happy hour cocktails in the heart of West Hollywood, my friends and I began reviewing our options for dinner nearby. Faced with packed dining rooms at the always-popular Bossa Nova and St. Felix, we decided it was the perfect time to check out one of the newer eateries on the block, Bite.
The loyal customers of the previous tenant, Tango Grill, enjoyed authentic Argentinean food in the spacious, simple dining room. Bite’s arrival, however, comes with a new, eclectic menu and a cozier atmosphere inside. This is a place that groups of friends can gather before or after a bar outing, but it also works as a casual date destination—something the Boulevard could use more of.
Much of the menu leans toward a French-style bistro—crepes, quiches and stews. Yet there are also American-style burgers, Italian pastas and, yes, that’s chimichurri sauce arriving with the bread basket. Perhaps it’s there to keep the former Tango patrons satisfied. Needless to say, the kitchen seems to be serving something for everyone.
Our server was friendly, knowledgeable and quick with the recommendations. According to him, the grilled skirt steak and chicken champignon are the most popular entrees. The steak turns out to be a well-prepared, tasty cut of meat, especially for under $20. Unfortunately, the chicken champignon is disappointing—somehow the layer of homemade mushroom cheese sauce doesn’t add much pizazz to what is essentially, a bland chicken breast underneath.
Much more satisfying were the panko-crusted calamari and battered onion rings my table shared before our entrees. Both appetizers were so good, we found ourselves debating ordering another round. The real showstopper is the grilled lamb salad—a mix of savory grilled lamb, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, all drizzled with a cool tzatziki sauce. It’s beautifully presented, and was hands-down the best dish at the table.
This may be the perfect place to be situated—in the middle of WeHo, with its varied crowds spilling out of the neighboring bars. No matter what type of food you or your friends may be craving on a night of bar-hopping, chances are it’s being served up at Bite.
Bite, 8807 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo, (310) 659-3663
This popular Argentinean sauce made of chopped parsley, olive oil and spices is a traditional accompaniment to grilled meats and crusty bread.
The original Melrose spot’s festive patio makes dining al fresco a party-like experience. Their yummy chimichurri arrives with the bread—pull yourself away at some point to save room for their surprisingly unique salads. 7229 Melrose Ave. WeHo, (323) 934-6838; 11935 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 623-4477
A small, charming Argentinean restaurant that serves over 15 different kinds of homemade empanadas. Order your chimichurri sauce on the side—you’ll want to dip your empanada into it between bites. 3811 Sawtelle Blvd., L.A., (310) 391-0888
Once a mini-L.A. chain, the multiple locations in the city have dwindled to this one. Ordering their Parrillada special is a fun dining experience; a large assortment of grilled meats and veggies arrives on your very own table-top grill, with plenty of chimichurri sauce to go around. 11754 San Vicente Blvd., L.A., (310) 447-7898