A Chef Cooking With So Much Passion | Cork Dork, Westlake Village, CA
Westlake Village, CA, February 2022
• GAYOT’s Rating: 14/20
• Cuisine: Contemporary / Wine Bar
• Open: Mon.-Sat. 4:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
• Cork Dork is on GAYOT’s:
– LA New & Hip Restaurants
– and LA Best Wine Bars.
Don’t get fooled by the “simplicity” of the shopping mall and the façade of the restaurant. Once you are inside it is a different story. You will, right away, embrace the décor created by the chef’s wife. Wine bottles stand enthroned everywhere — after all, you are in a wine bar, as it says on the sign outside.
Things have evolved since chef Danny Amirian opened Cork Dork, his first restaurant after working for others for more than twenty years. A Westlake Village local, he wanted his own place to be THE wine bar in that part of Los Angeles County. But wine calls for food (especially when you have to drive), so, from starting with a few dishes here and there, Cork Dork has morphed into a full-fledged restaurant.
Chef Amirian’s cooking is the perfect illustration of elegant contemporary cuisine, yet approachable and not intimidating. Since the menu is market-driven, it is ever-changing. Amirian only wants ultra-fresh ingredients, as local as they can be, to the point that he is going to transform his backyard into a small farmland, growing his own vegetables and herbs. The dishes he constantly creates are as flavorful as they are colorful. The palette of colors illustrates the well-balanced combination of the ingredients he assembles onto the plate.
Let us not forget the other component of Cork Dork: the wine. Amirian likes good wine. A few times while visiting restaurants, he would find himself wanting a glass of a beautiful label but not the entire bottle. So, he installed a unique and innovative technology that provides the freshest taste of the wines, serving ounce-size selections of over 40 different wines (a 2 oz. or 5 oz. pour). Sommelier Aaron Horwitz is in charge of finding these precious bottles that you usually can not drink by the glass. Expect wines from around the world. You may also join the wine club, which includes a monthly delivery you can keep at the restaurant wine storage.
You are in for a treat at Cork Dork. Amirian’s cuisine is the true value to venture out to restaurants, and why I support chefs who cook from the heart for the pleasure of others.