Sunday, July 31, 2011

Black Market Liquor Bar

Had dinner there last night, it was a Saturday evening and we arrived shortly after the place opened. We were seated immediately, they only take reservations for parties of six or more.

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I had read some reviews about the place and many of them mention the excess noise level. That's definitely not a problem if you arrive early. The menu has a wide variety if ingredients and flavors. They also have a nice variety of cocktails listed in order of heaviness.

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We started with a few cocktails and the Dill Chips, served with Malt Vinegar Aioli. My cocktail was the City Fizz (gin, absinthe, lime, cucumber, mint, egg white), it was a nice a refreshing drink and not overly sweet. We also had the Red Hot and Bothered (JalapeƱo-infused vodka, strawberry, blood orange, agave, ginger beer), which ridiculously good. The chips were very good, not greasy and the dip was great.

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We decided to order our food in waves, three dishes at a time. Our first round included Mussels, Deviled Quail Eggs and Soft Shell Crab Po boy. The mussels were delicious, the broth was buttery and aromatic. I liked the fact that they served the dish with three slices of bread, one for each person at the table.

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The Soft Shell Crab Po Boy was served on a Brioche Bun the size of a slider. The crab protruded from all sides of the bun. It was fresh and perfectly fried. The cabbage and Sriracha sauce were nice complements. This dish reminded me a lot of the Fried Chicken Sandwich at Son of a Gun.

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The Deviled Quail Eggs were good, but nothing special. There was a strong taste of dill which was not mentioned on the menu. The flavor of the tuna was masked by the dill and egg.

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For round two, we ordered the Burrata panzanella with onion, olive, roasted pepper and mint pisto, Crispy Collard Greens with Benton Ham, Cheesy Grits and Soft Egg, last but not least the Fried Cauliflower with Lemon Aioli.

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The Burrata was delicious, the sliced olives added a nice salty touch. This is a interpretation of a panzanella salad, the bread is more like croutons and the items are not tossed together. But the dish is really good and a nice combination of flavors.

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The collard greens with soft egg and ham, really good. There should have been more grits, but the dish was simple. Maybe a bit of acidity would help out, but that's getting picky.

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Fried cauliflower, cooked perfectly, the lemon aioli nice complement. For dessert we ordered the Deep Fried Fluffernutter. For those of you that don't know, a fluffernutter sandwich is marshmellow fluff and peanut butter between two slices of bread. BMLB adds banana to this sandwich and deep fries the whole thing. I didn't taste this, but judging by the reactions of my dinnermates, it was good.

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All the dishes were served on wood blocks with the Black Market name, smart move. The service could have been quicker considering how bust it was, but overall it was attentive. I do look forward to coming again and enjoying the nightlife. Congrats to Chef Antonia, great food.


  1. This joint got huge press for a couple of weeks after opening. Stuff looks thoughtful and a bit interesting. Really curious about her food, but dangit Studio City is like the DMZ.

  2. Hey SinoSoul...yeah with Chef Antonia doing so well on Top Chef masters, a lot of people were anticipating the opening. I was surprised overall. Great place to visit if you're ever in this part of town. Any suggestions on a good noodle place in SGV? I keep on going to the same places.