Serenity at Sirocco Restaurant

Before seeing the show Mysterious Circumstances at The Geffen Playhouse, my friend Brenda invited me to dinner at the newly opened restaurant Sirocco.

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Below the Getty Center, on the corner of Sunset Blvd. and the 405 freeway in Brentwood, is the 162 guest rooms and suites Luxe Sunset Hotel. Inside is a serene and peaceful retro-modern interior by designer Mary McDonald, and onsite restaurant with Executive Chef Olivier Rousselle leading the kitchen.  Rousselle has cooked at Michael’s in Santa Monica and Camden in Beverly Hills before heading up the kitchens at Luxe Hotels.

Noticing my friend sitting outside on the airy terrace next to a waterfall fountain, I joined her at a marble top table and sat down in one of the comfortable and stylish charcoal chairs. The restaurant also has an intimate indoor dining space that seats 70 guests among soft, neutral colors with bronze accents.

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Starting with a glass of Jill Hammer Rose’ of Pinot Noir while looking over the menu, I appreciated its aromas of delicate rose, red cherries and raspberry. This dry, crisp and refreshing rose’ offers light raspberry and strawberry flavors. It pairs nicely with many of the Mediterranean flavors on the menu including roasted pancetta wrapped Medjool dates, Mediterranean Mezze dips with toasted unleavened bread, and grilled Spanish octopus that can be dipped in a chimichurri sauce and served with fingerling potatoes and arugula.

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My friend suggested we start with three mini and buttery New England style lobster rolls topped with sliced scallions and a squeeze of lemon. They were delicious and perfect to share, as was the crab cake salad on a bed of mixed greens with sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, radish, fennel pollen, and a dollop of herb enhanced tartar sauce.

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When the Provençal tuna tartare wrapped with ribbons of thinly sliced grilled zucchini arrived, I appreciated the time it took to prepare this picturesque dish. Topped with greens, there were slices of toasted olive oil crostini to scoop the raw fish mixed with capers, lemon juice and parsley. 

With no roof above the dining terrance, we noticed stars starting to appear in the darkening sky. Heaters were nearby if the summer air turned chilly.

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Our server Andres delivered Moroccan braised short ribs bathed in aromatic jus with dates. Next to the thick slices of tender meat was a side of toasted soft pearl couscous. Roasted carrots, potatoes and sliced turnips decorated the top of this hearty dish. 

Other entrées include herb-roasted rack of lamb with mascarpone polenta cake; grilled branzino with Provençale vegetable and fennel pollen; and shellfish bouillabaisse with a few tiger prawns, a scallop or two, clams, and chunks of branzino simmering in a fennel and saffron broth with garlic rouille tartine.

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For dessert, we shared Chef Rousselle’ signature upside-down Valrhona chocolate fudge cake with a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream and a side of whipped cream with fresh berries. 

Before leaving we learned that on Saturday nights guests receive 50% off all bottles of wine. On Sunday, Sirocco serves bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys with brunch fare that includes French crêpes, omelette station, and artful displays of antipasto from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

During the week, Sirocco Lounge offers a social hour featuring a selection of appetizers, artisan crafted cocktails, local microbrew beers and a rare selection of regional wines from around the world starting at 4 to 6 p.m.

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Next time you want to explore Getty Center, see a show at UCLA or the Geffen Playhouse, dine at Sirocco for a new culinary experience this summer. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Reservations are recommended. 11461 Sunset Blvd. (310)691-7584.

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