Moruno - Spanish Fantasy

I have been remiss in writing about Moruno, but feel it deserves its own thread. It is tucked into the old Short Order space at the Farmer’s Market at The Grove on 3rd and Fairfax, and is one of the few restaurants in the area open past 10 PM (even Animal closes at 10 PM now). That alone makes it noteworthy in many ways. However, the food is worth talking about as well.

They start you out with some really nice marinated white beans, peppers, and olives. Very nice to have something so pleasant as a freebie to snack on.

The freebie went great with their gin and tonic, which was standard, but certainly done right.

I veered a tad “normal” with my order for my first time as I had a craving for tuna and french fries, and Moruno strongly delivers by offering a Tuna Steak Frites. This is a spectacular dish consisting of a giant seared tuna steak marinated in olive oil and garlic, and loaded with near-perfect french fries coated in “gunpower” spice. They come with a garlic cream sauce on the side that is reminiscent of Zanku, but with more bite to it that really sends the dish over the edge.

Their tortilla espanola is stunningly huge for the price, and tastes incredible. It has the perfect ratio of egg/onion/potato, and a simply marvelous texture. Awesome tangy cream sauce on it as well. By far the best version of this dish I have ever had in LA.

The mushrooms a la plancha were stupendously grilled, adorned very simply with herbs, and egg yolk. One of the best mushroom dishes I have had in recent memory, and really showed that they understand how to work with vegetables in a powerful way in terms of eliciting maximum flavor from simple preparations.

The Lamb subMoruno was probably the least awesome thing we ordered oddly enough. The bread felt like it could’ve been crustier or something, not sure. It was fine. The lamb was tender, marinated nicely, and the sauce had a pleasant kick, but it just felt a bit too bready and a bit boring compared to the other dishes somehow. Still good though, but I would get more vegetables next time instead.

Their wine list is also lovely, and has some incredible reasonable bottles of interesting and very pleasant to drink wine on it:

Overall, I agree with other major reviews such as Moruno being somewhat unlike any other restaurant in LA. It is a fantastic place to eat. The french fries alone may be worth coming for, as well as the vegetables. I really need to return to get their tripe dish and more veggies!

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Nice review, I need to get over there

I enjoyed the butternut squash and squid stuffed squid

The squid stuffed squid was very good. Stuffing a squid’s tentacles back into its own body and into my mouth only seemed appropriate.

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Reminding me I need to return sooner rather than later…

not everything was good though, the pork belly chicharrones was so overcooked it turned into a “leathery hunk of carbon”

cool… it’s across the street from us… can’t believe we haven’t gone yet. maybe that’s the happy hour spot on wednesday

Do you live in the Palazzo? haha

Most unfortunate. As noted, the subMoruno wasn’t great in my meal.

Pretty close to in in Park la Brea

i love, love, love, that butternut sqash.

Do you find you walk to places like Odys and Penelope, Republique, Moruno, etc… often? Or still end up driving to them? Just out of pure curiosity. Great epicenter of dining to live in really.

We got a little kid now so dont’ get out to eat at nice places very often. When we do get a sitter we drive. FM we definitely walk to. I’m on a scooter myself so i hop around on that pretty effectively without traffic/parking issues.

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I don’t know how little your talking but I feel like I see young kids with their parents in Odys and Penelope and Republique somewhat often. Not at the bar of course… But certainly eating there. But not like 2 year olds, granted.

I was just curious if it felt like all those places were walking distance or not from Park La Brea haha

yea, he’s almost 4 so we do take him nice places sometimes. things like Republique and O&P we reserve for date nights. I want to focus when i’m there.

We’re more walkable along Fairfax.

[quote=“Nemroz, post:14, topic:3914”]
Republique and O&P we reserve for date nights. I want to focus when i’m there.
[/quote]I know. Otherwise you spend your time negotiating food consumption, moving objects out of reach and saying things like “stop it, put that down.”

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When we were there, they couldn’t make the squid dish fast enough. Seemed like every table ordered it.

I thought the best thing I ate was the rotisserie cabbage, of all things. Not sure I would go back. Bread on the sandwich was bleck, chicken was average tasting. Squid stuffed squid was solid but nothing to swoon over. Gratis olives were nice.

FTC scooter meetup.

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Bar 326 would be my choice for that

aaaand it’s gone