By Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
It’s after 6pm, I’m in the Marriott Hotel by LAX, and we have no idea where to go eat dinner. I have to wake up at 4pm to make my flight but after one more business call I have nothing to do. Where to go?
I check with the concierge, who recommends some good places and some bad ones, but still am torn on which one to pick. As experience has shown me, concierges can suggest horrible locations (it seems hotels are paid to suggest certain names,) so I use my phone to look-up places on Urbanspoon.
We settle on a place called Talia’s Italian in Manhattan Beach. Using OpenTable we are able to secure a table at 6:30pm. Perfect!
Google maps messes up and sends me to the middle of a neighborhood, but TeleNav saves the day and we arrive outside at 6:20. The restaurant is small, very small, but is very welcoming with a fine-dining atmosphere. We sit at the bar and wait for our table, which is ready in under 20 minutes.
I order the Burrata Caprese ($10) appetizer and the Fresh Diver Scallops ($26) for my entree. Burrata, is a form of mozzarella cheese which includes mozzarella wrapped around cream. It is very soft and does not keep long; hence, not being available in most stores.
Burrata is one of my favorite foods, so I am very happy when it arrives. It’s soft, fresh, and quite tasty. It is not the best Burrata I have ever had, but it is quite good.
The star of the show arrives later on into the dinner and looks great. At first I cannot tell what it is but upon inspection I can see how they wrap several scallops in a ring with prosciutto, and hold it all together with a skewer. They have been grilled and sit atop fresh polenta and spinach. A lemon/butter/wine sauce fills the bottom of the plate and has been poured over the top of my scallops, with a single slice of lemon on the very top.
The Fresh Diver Scallops taste as good as they look. They are perfectly seasoned and the char from grilling helps the prosciutto to have the right amount of crunch. The lemon/butter/wine sauce has a bit of acid to it but is silky smooth from the butter. I cannot say enough good things about the polenta as it is some of the best I have ever had. The cornmeal is not grainy, but is smooth, and the spinach helps offset the acid from the sauce. I love every bit of my dish and cannot wait to make it myself at home sometime!
I highly recommend Talia’s and cannot wait to go back.