Restaurant Review: Cube
What's a girl to do when her boyfriend gives her a gift certificate to Cube? Well, have a ladies' night, of course! "Wait," you say, "what about taking the boyfriend to dinner?" Well, the very nice gift-certificate-giving boyfriend doesn't even live here (he's out in Denver) and insisted she take her friends (insert "AWWWWWWWWWWWWW" here). That's my kind of friend's boyfriend, let me tell you. Especially if said girlfriend invites ME, which she did!
I'd been wanting to try Cube since the feedback on the place seems mostly positive. I also liked that they had a large selection of cheese and charge $0 corkage since they do not serve wine. The three of us went armed with our wine for a 7:00 PM reservation on a Friday night. You have to make reservations since there are only a few tables inside and out in the deli-like space. We opted for an inside table since the traffic on La Brea can get pretty loud. The Cube staff mark your reserved table with a little sign that has your name and the number of your party on it- a cute and personal touch, I thought.
We sat down and our friendly waitress gave us a small amuse of Myrtlewood cheese, served with pistachios and dried apricots. I've rarely met a cheese I didn't like, and this was no different. The three of us didn't even have to consult each other on what appetizer we would share- the minute we saw the Black Truffle Pizza, our inner voices started talking to each other and demanding we order it. We each decided on different pasta dishes as our main course, uncorked the first of (number that shall remain a secret) bottles of wine and caught up on work, relationships, food, the meaning of life, which soy milk tastes the best and whatever else girls talk about.
Will you marry me?
Ah, Black Truffle Pizza. You sauntered over to our table like the Darth Vader of Pies in your black and cheesy glory. What on earth is there NOT to LOVE about a crisp crust covered with black truffles and topped with oozing, melted cheese? Who needs money when this Sphere of Delight exists in the world (well, I mean I could always use more money but ya know...)? The earthy aroma of truffles wafted through my nose as I took a bite and, dear readers, it was every bit as good as you can possibly imagine. Washed down with wine, it was the perfect way to start (or continue, or end) a meal. I'll be having many more outings with this pizza, I can assure you.
My friend T's potato gnocchi w/ roasted garlic pesto was very garlicky and VERY good. Some people may find the roasted garlic overpowering, but after awhile it became quite addictive, actually. The gnocchi were perfect- chewy and toothsome but tender at the same time. I kept reaching over and nabbing the little nuggets (sorry T!).
K decided on the lobster ravioli w/ zucchini saffron cream sauce. It was a beautiful dish- bright yellow from the saffron. K was very happy, and I liked it as well, although I must warn you- it isn't for the saffron-faint-at-heart. The herb permeates the entire dish and makes for a lovely sensory experience.
I decided to get the special of duck ragu, but instead of getting it on the gnocchi, I asked to have it on pappardelle instead. The pasta was fine, but I found the ragu a bit disappointing....it was very tomatoey but the flavor was lacking the depth and richness that a slow-cooking ragu usually has. It tasted good.......I guess I was expecting something with a bit more substance. I'm guessing that the thinner ragu would have actually made the perfect accompaniment to the gnocchi, so it serves me right since I decided to tweak my order and not follow what the chef had chosen. Lesson learned!
Pappardelle with duck ragu...
We decided to forego sweets and opted for an assortment of cheeses to finish the meal. We had a manchego, a white cheddar and a goat recommended by the waitress. We all agreed that the goat was our favorite.
Overall, I highly recommend Cube- the food is great, the service is stellar and the $0 corkage seals the deal on any place for me, really. The cozy deli-cafe/like interior is the perfect place to have some wine and catch up with girlfriends.
Leftovers marked so there's no mixup!
615 N. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA